15 – 105mins – 2014
Victor Webster once again straps on his sandals to play the pec-flexing legendary Akkadian warrior of the title in this Dwayne Johnson-less sequel-of-a-sequel-of-a-prequel-of-a-spin-off-of-a-sequel-of-a-remake of Universal’s classic reanimated corpse horror icon (got it?).
Now an under-the-radar DTV series, The Scorpion King has quietly clocked up more films than the Brendan Fraser-starring trilogy which spawned it. The Mummy (1999) and …Returns (2001) director Stephen Sommers is still keeping his eye on proceedings, however, albeit only as Executive Producer, and his lighter, family-friendly fingerprint still remains as battles and banter far-outweigh any sense of gritty drama or horror.
Unfortunately, light – both figuratively and literally – is one of Quest for Power‘s biggest failings. The (comparatively) respectable props, costumes, sets and locations are all lit far too brightly, over-saturating the already colourful ambience and highlighting any obvious uses of CGI. Coupled with a tendency towards goofy humour and quips, you are left with a highly false and anachronistic diagetic universe which really doesn’t feel like it warrants a “15” certificate.
SK4 is not entirely void of charm, but it’s disappointing when the creativity and scope to deliver an ambitious and exciting fantasy adventure is evident – mechanical dragons, venomous spiders, underground lairs and kinetic fight scenes abound. But the apparent prevalence towards crafting a cracking yarn means this fourth chapter will be best remembered for copious stunt casting (Michael Biehn, Rutgar Hauer, Lou Ferrigno and a handful of UFC fighters all show up for all of a scene apiece) and a potty inventor being catapulted into a barn. While wearing a chicken suit.
Told you it didn’t feel like a typical “15″.