“The Mummy Returns” introduced the character of The Scorpion King, but how did he become The Scorpion King? ” The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior” answers that question, one which nobody was asking because it already had been answered six years earlier in “ duh “ “The Scorpion King.” For those doing the math, this DVD premiere is a prequel to a spin-off of a sequel of a remake. Got that?
It’s also the low point of the entire “Mummy” franchise, but that’s to be expected, given its rather tenuous connection and cash-in existence. With no name stars and a meager budget, it carries the whiff of a syndicated series, an on-the-cheap adventure straggling the genres of kung-fu action and sword-and-sorcery.
Taking over the role from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is former “Power Ranger” Michael Copon, vowing vengeance over the king (top-billed UFC fighter Randy Couture) for killing his dad with a load of scorpions. A lazily paced mission begins, with highlights being a meeting with a minotaur (until the creature is subdued by a flute) and a forest of thorns that pops out of the desert. There’s also an underdressed witch and a poorly animated, quasi-invisible giant scorpion.
Russell Mulcahy (“Resident Evil: Extinction”) directs, having handled mummies before in 1998’s not bad “Tale of the Mummy,” but he’s done no favors by a slow, sub-“Conan” script and actors who simply cannot act. His efforts look slick enough, making this “King” watchable, but not rewarding.