Part of me still can't believe that Russel Mulcahy, director of Highlander is doing straight to DVD sequels now. However, he manages to talk himself out of it more or less by saying he started of doing rock videos on the cheap and with everybody chipping in anyway. Also, the director and the young cast seem to have a lot of fun on set. After all, the Scorpion King was a good old fashioned throw back to eighties sword and sorcery, so why should this prequel be any different?
Michael Copon, who plays Mathayus (long before taking on the title of Scorpion King) in this tale, goes on record as saying he really believes in this project. But elsewhere on the documentary it becomes apparent he exaggerates a lot. Taking over the lead role from The Rock, the story of the Akkadian warrior seems to go further back in time with each installment. Starting off with the death of the Scorpion King in The Mummy Returns, past to his ascension from assassin to king, and now we see how a little boy became a warrior. Actually, we see the character of Mathayus at two different ages here, but are not informed as of the circumstances of his, so I guess there's room for another installment yet.
There are actually a lot more flights of fantasy in this part than there were in the original SK movie. Mathays and his pals visit the labyrinth of Knossos to fight the most unconvincing minotaur ever and from there they go straight to Hades. Although we don't get a good look at how the half-man, half-bull was created, we do see a lot of how Hades was brought to, well, undead. Mike Copon thinks the set is very close to an actual hell. See what I mean about the exaggerations? Meanwhile his leading lady Karen David calls herself a wuss. But she still feels like a warrior when she puts on her skimpy costume. Co-stars Tom Wu and Simon Quartermain note that fact that they as well as Michael Copon are Scorpios. Coincidence? As the ruler of hades, Astarte (Natalie Becker) seems to be gliding instead of walking in the film. Here we see this was done on the cheap: she was standing on a wooden slab and being pulled along on a camera-rails.
Russell Mulcahy always has things going on in the background, even during his interviews. According to young Mathayus, Mulcahy also has super sensitive hearing. It's obvious that the entire film was shot on a tight schedule, for all the actors are complaining about exhaustion all the time. For his part, Mulcahy really enjoys telling how barrel full of KY heavy duty was died black in order to pass of as scorpion ooze. But on the whole, the documentaries on this DVD release are actually better produced and more insightful than the short and fluffy ones on the original Scorpion King DVD. So bring on the next pre/sequel, please.
7 out of 10
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