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THE SCORPION KING 2:
RISE OF A WARRIOR

As direct-to-video releases go, THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR ($40) isnít a bad way to kill a rainy afternoon. However, in the cannon of epic sword and sandal fodder, THE SCORPION KING 2 doesnít hold a tremendous amount of replay value. THE SCORPION KING 2 serves as a prequel to the tongue-in-cheek theatrical movie starring Dwayne Johnson, but is decidedly lacking in the good humor contained in that film. One could probably think of THE SCORPION KING 2 as a slightly upscale mix of elements from an episode of HERCULES: THE LEGENDARY JOURNEYS, a bit of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS and a revenge movie.

In THE SCORPION KING 2, Michael Copon takes on the role of a young Mathayus, and certainly looks as though he could pass for a younger version Dwayne Johnson, except with more boy band/teenage age girl friendly appeal. The premise of THE SCORPION KING 2 finds Mathayus the son of a great warrior, who is slain by devious means by General Sargon, a practitioner of the black arts. Years pass, Mathayus grows into manhood and completes his training to become an elite Black Scorpion warrior. Upon returning to the kingdom of his birth, Mathayus discovers that Sargon has usurped the throne by black magic; making his sworn vengeance against the man that murdered his father, an even more difficult goal to achieve. Turning renegade, Mathayus sets out to liberate the Sword of Damocles from the underworld and use the supernatural weapon against the evil Sargon. The cast of THE SCORPION KING 2 also includes Karen Shenaz David, Simon Quarterman, Tom Wu, Andreas Wisniewski, Natalie Becker, Jeremy Crutchley and Shane Manie.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made THE SCORPION KING 2 available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. For the most part, the 1080p presentation is attractive, but the low rent nature of the productionís budget does degrade the visuals a bit. Bright sunlit sequences generally look the best, producing excellent sharpness and image detail. Dark sequences can be a bit muddy and under defined. Colors tend to be nicely saturated and produce attractive flesh tones. Blacks and whites are accurately rendered and contrast is smooth. Shadow detail is a little wanting, but then again, dark sequences are the only truly problematic portions of the presentation. There are no notable defects in the source materials. Grain/video noise is readily apparent in darker shots, but they are generally brief.

THE SCORPION KING 2 is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a good quality soundtrack, which features a nice highly active mix that makes good use of all the outlying channels for sound effect placement. Fidelity is equally strong producing very convincing sound effects and a nice musical presence. The bass channel is potent plus for a direct-to-video release. Dialogue is crisp and easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the discs, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features. No supplemental content is provided.

As I stated above, THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR is a good way to kill a rainy afternoon. The Blu-ray release offers good hi-def video quality and solid audio. If you like sword and sandal tales, THE SCORPION KING 2 may be worth a peek.

 

THE SCORPION KING 2: RISE OF A WARRIOR 


The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior [Blu-ray] (2008)

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DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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