If Randy returned to the UFC because he thought the Scorpion King 2 was going to ruin his acting career, he might have been a bit premature. It Looks like the movie is doing pretty well … despite terrible reviews and acting so wooden the studio re-dubbed him, Couture is making an impact in the only area studios really care about: their pockets.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior sold 700,000 copies within the first six days of its Aug. 19 release, putting it on track to be one of the all-time top three selling non-family direct-to-DVD titles, according to the studio.
I’d like to say this is proof that the world has absolutely no taste in movies, but this is one of those flicks that tricks you into thinking it might be good via a brand name and an interesting ‘star’. I put quotations around that because Randy is actually absent for 75% of the film, and then an invisible scorpion for another 10%. If you simply must own this film as part of your perverted Couture shrine (mine has a wisp of his hair, try and beat that!) then I advise checking garbage cans and dumpsters in a week or two when 600,000 of those copies sold gets thrown in the trash.
Oh, I know. I’m just a jerkface asshole who poops on everything. So don’t take my word for it. Here’s what others are saying about the Scorpion King:
Perhaps the very first made-for-vid prequel to a spinoff from a sequel to a remake, The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior suggests a CW television network version of a swords-and-sorcery saga.
-Joe Leydon, Variety
you can’t watch it for more than an hour without your brain turning to mush . . .
-James O’Ehly, Sci-Fi Movie Page
Now, the last thing anyone expects from these movies is true mythos, but the blending of Greek and Middle Eastern heritage here is sketchy and stupid at best.
So is the hiring of human muscle drone Randy Couture as a lead. The former UFC fighter, built like a fleshy fireplug and about as animate, offers nothing in the way of menace or meaning as our diabolical general turned killer king. Taking a page out of the flex before finesse school of acting, our star seems to stumble when required to do anything except battle.
Not that his young co-star Michael Copon is much better. Clearly learning his craft from the ‘head down and glower’ school of emotion, our hero is hindered by little onscreen magnetism and even less likeability. Mathayus – at least at this stage in his life – is a whiny little cuss, complaining about everything before finally getting around to raising his sword.
One imagines he was more effective as the Blue Time Force Ranger during the Power Rangers phenomenon. In fact, the overall level of performance here is pretty pathetic. No one really stands out, and attempted sequences of shared feelings fall flatter than Couture’s nose. From a talent level alone, The Scorpion King 2 barely rises above the level of a bad Sci-Fi Channel schlocker – and you know how hard those movies suck.
-Bill Gibron, DVDTalk.com
The only “actor” left to discuss is Randy Couture, a UFC champion who has followed other MMA fighting of late into the acting arena. He looks like a serious badass but I kept thinking through the whole film that he was completely miscast. His stiff, emotionless line delivery probably had something to do with it. Some actors do not belong in period movies, let alone as a calculating warlord who eventually turns into a giant computer-generated scorpion. With his chiseled looks, physical conditioning and no-nonsense demeanor, Couture needs to be playing military or police characters in a modern-day setting. He’d be ideal for a starring role in a remake of DELTA FORCE or something similar.
-Mark Pollard, Kung Fu Cinema