The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power is what you think it would: really dumb and it doesn’t pretend to be otherwise so on a certain level, for as bad as it might be, it’s a harmlessly bad flick that many can enjoy and at the very least has mock value to hold an “MST3K” movie night. The Blu-ray released by Universal actually has good video and audio transfers and a decent selection of special features.
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Universal Studios Home Entertainment | PG13 – 105 min. – $34.98 | January 13, 2015
THE MOVIE – 2.25/5
Note: This review contains spoilers. Readers, please beware.
Ah, the direct-to-video sequel and no other studio churns them out like Universal. Their latest is The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, attempting to make amends I suppose for Superman IV’s own “Quest”… One thing I found funny after watching is looking at the poster/cover artwork where we get pictures of Lou Ferrigno (cameo), the tubby bad guy right-hand man, the female lead, a female character who had one scene fighting the female lead and the smallest pic is our lead actor playing the title character. Such an odd cover.
This fourth outing of the 2002 modest hit ($165M worldwide gross) that starred Dwayne Johnson when he still preferred to be credited as “The Rock” and finds Mathayus (VICTOR WEBSTER reprising his role from Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption) on a new adventure in the opening where, alongside partner Drazen (WILL KEMP), are in search of a sacred urn fighting off lame attackers and finally King Skizurra (LOU FERRIGNO in a cameo appearance and doesn’t show up again until the very end in a blink or you’ll miss it shot).
After defeating the bad guys, Drazen, in Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark fashion, turns on Mathayus, takes the artifact back to his wretched father, King Yannick (MICHAEL BIEHN in another brief cameo) of Norvania, and reveals a key inside which leads to an all-powerful crown once held by Lord Alcaman, the last king to rule the entire world and whomever has that crown may do so again. Meanwhile, Mathayus returns to King Zakkour (RUTGER HAUER), who hired him to retrieve the urn and without it must make peace with Yannick and for whatever reason sends Mathayus to send the treaty because, you know, a warrior is the right man for that job.
Mathayus travels to Norvania not only to deliver the peace treaty, but to retrieve the key as it is far too powerful to be in the hands of mere mortals. But once there, he quickly runs into his old partner-turned-traitor and instead of getting to see the king, is instead locked up. In the next cell he encounters from the beautiful Valina (ELLEN HOLLMAN) who is imprisoned for leaving Drazen at the altar.
In any case, after Mathayus is tortured for his true intentions for being there, admitting he wanted to kill Drazen, King Yannick agrees to meet with him and just when he’s about to sign the treaty, is murdered via poisoned scorpions and Mathayus immediately realizes Drazen has killed his own father to gain control of the kingdom. After some generic fighting, Mathayus manages to escape, with the key, and encounters Valina has also made an escape attempt. Together they dodge Drazen’s keystone guards and make way to Valina’s father who might be able to interpret symbols on the key.
Valina’s father, Sorrell (BARRY BOSTWICK), is a flamboyant personality (i.e. crazy) and after getting a tour of his Da Vinci-like workshop, is able to tell the story of Alcaman and how it’s a mere myth, though is able to lead to the next step as to where the key belongs. Before they can get going, Drazen catches up and getting the key back, ties the trio up and attempts to burn them alive, though we all know Hercules… I mean Mathayus saves the day in the nick of time.
The remainder of the movie has a Lord of the Rings like journey that takes them to a rock castle, before which we get a fight scene between Valina and a combatant named Chancara (EVE TORRES), I only mention the character as, despite the brief solo scene, is featured on the front cover. We also get to see a mechanical dragon, some nifty science-y stuff and Mathayus himself acting like a dick (can’t reveal who without giving away the ending), but involves him espousing virtues and moral while someone nearby, a friend, is dying and needs aid of a special artifact.
Alright, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power isn’t a good movie and it knows it. The film, and its cast, doesn’t take itself too seriously and this works especially with the screenplay, dialogue and acting couldn’t hold up for very long. Victor Webster reprises his role from the third film and does a pretty good impression of The Rock with his voice and he at least has a modicum of charisma to carry an otherwise poorly made movie.
The supporting cast members are all OK but don’t be deceived by the “named” actors like Lou Ferrigno, M. Emmett Walsh, Rutger Hauer and surprisingly, Michael Biehn who I barely recognize, though his role is much shorter, so any Biehn fans out there will be sorely disappointed.
Directed by Mike Elliott (Blue Crush 2, Beethoven’s Big Break) and written by Michael D. Weiss (The Butterfly Effect 2, Hostel: Part III), with Mummy director Stephen Sommers serving as producer under his production company, The Scorpion King 4 is stupid. Kind of fun at times but ultimately it’s stupid. Is it even worth your time? I’d say no, but if you want to go “MST3K” on it…
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.0/5
This release came with a glossy, slightly title embossed, slip cover. Inside the case is the retail DVD Copy and a redemption code for the Digital Copy (UltraViolet and iTunes compatible).
Feature Commentary – Director Mike Elliott and Stars Victor Webster, Barry Bostwick, Ellen Hollman and Will Kemp provide a fun and light-hearted commentary but if you’re looking for any in-depth insight into filmmaking, this is not the track for you. It’s more entertainment than technically based.
The Making of Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power (17:36; HD) – Split into three parts, this is a basic but well done behind-the-scenes featurette with your usual on-location interviews with members of the cast and crew. ** Partially Blu-ray Exclusives **
Deleted Scenes (15:23; HD) include 14 deleted or extended scenes none of which are of any import. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **
Gag Reel (5:46; HD) has your normal line flubs and on-set antics.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power fights onto Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. Like any made direct-to-video movie, it doesn’t look fantastic where the HD shows off some of the cheaper elements. However, the details are pretty good and colors tend to be bright and cheerful in keeping with the tone of the film. I didn’t notice any apparent bouts of artifacts or aliasing making for a clean looking transfer.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track provides for good dialogue levels throughout but the action scenes are a bit mundane though I think that’s more to do with the sound design than a flaw with the transfer itself. Even so, those action-oriented scenes have decent depth but it’s minimal with the bulk reserved for the generic action score.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power is what you think it would: really dumb and it doesn’t pretend to be otherwise so on a certain level, for as bad as it might be, it’s a harmlessly bad flick that many can enjoy and at the very least has mock value to hold an “MST3K” movie night. The Blu-ray released by Universal actually has good video and audio transfers and a decent selection of special features.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.