The Scorpion King: Book of Souls (2018)

The Scorpion King teams up with a female warrior named Tala, the daughter of The Nubian King. Together they search for a legendary relic known as The Book of Souls, which will allow them to put an end to an evil warlord with his own mythical artifact of power.

REVIEW: The Scorpion King: Book of Souls is the fifth (!) in a long line of movies spun-off from the Brendan Frasier-starring Mummy franchise, and I know they get quite a lot of flak online but personally I love almost all of the Scorpion King direct-to-video sequels and it's one of my biggest guilty pleasure DtV franchises. Despite all its low budget faults, I find them pretty fun overall and I feel there's not nearly enough 'Sword and Sandal' adventure flicks nowadays.

Victor Webster, who played the role in the last two movies, IMO is way better and more natural in the role than the Rock was in the initial theatrical movie. With that said, and Victor Webster aside, I didn't like the previous movie, Quest for Power, very much at all, but I was still excited for this one when I saw it was out now.

Zach McGowan takes over the title role this time and, even though I like McGowan overall in some of his other projects (Death Race: Beyond Anarchy and the amazing TV show Black Sails), I just don't think he was a good fit for this role at all. He's way too small and too scrawny compared to The Rock and Webster, and in addition I just found his portrayal to be very wooden, flat, and overall quite emotionless. There was just no fun factor to his portrayal of the character at all in this entry.

With that out of the way though, almost everything else about this new sequel is great, if you're a fan of these (and if you're not, than you should know that by now, by Part 5 in a series, so why are you even wasting your time checking it out at this point?). The story is interesting and far more in line with what this franchise is about than The Quest for Power's story was, the action is well-done, and the movie looks gorgeous and like it has a bigger budget than it actually does. I would even venture to say this is probably the nicest-looking of all the sequels. It even has a nice connection to the original movie by having one of the main characters being the daughter of one of the main characters from the original movie.

Now, I said 'almost' everything else was great. Which implied that there are a few other things I take issue with. The top of which is the acting, especially from the villains side of things. Pretty much every villain is horrendous in the acting department, which really brings most of their scenes down. Also, the lead villain is supposed to be leading an army of Jackal-men created by the god Anubis (much like The Scorpion King character does in The Mummy Returns) however all these Jackal-men monsters look nothing like in The Mummy Returns and instead just look like regular people, which was a huge let down (Anubis himself looked awesome though, I must admit).

Lastly, trying to figure out the timeline of all these movies is enough to give anyone a headache. We have the beginning of the story (Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior) and we have the ending of the story (The Mummy Returns), but everything in the middle is a bit of a disjointed muddled mess, with each movie seemingly dirtying the timeline even further and making an even bigger headache of the continuity.

Most of my issues with this entry are only minor things that didn't hurt my overall enjoyment of the movie too much. However, Victor Webster's absence was horribly felt, especially since his replacement just doesn't do very good in the role, nor does he fit the role in any shape, way, or form. That is what hurt this movie for me the most. Still, I'll always be down for more Scorpion King movies, but I think next time they need to find a better replacement for Victor Webster if they can't get him himself to return, and I think it's about time they start showing us what we've been waiting five movies for - The Scorpion King's fall from grace that was alluded to in The Mummy Returns.

7/10 rooms in the Psych Ward


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