DirectorDon Michael Paul
Release Date(s)2018 (October 23, 2018)
Studio(s)Universal Pictures (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
- Film/Program Grade: C
- Video Grade: A+
- Audio Grade: A+
- Extras Grade: F
Just when you thought the Scorpion King franchise was over, along comes another offering, specifically Scorpion King: Book of Souls, which is the fifth entry in the series (with many feeling that it was basically over at entry number one).
Mathayus, the Scorpion King (Zach McGowan, Shameless), teams up with a warrior named Tala (Pearl Thusi) to quest for a legendary relic known as The Book of Souls. Finding it will allow them to banish the evil warlord Nebserek (Peter Mensah), who wields a demon sword that threatens civilization. However, Mathayus and his allies intend to stand in his way before he can gain more power.
More or less a poor man’s Conan the Barbarian, Book of Souls has the potential to be an action-packed fantasy film. Action scenes are staged well and there are plenty of great visuals, thanks to the beautiful cinematography of Hein de Vos, but the rest is sorely lacking. Zack McGowan’s leading performance is poor; he’s physically suitable for the role, but his delivery is flat, making his character come across as not much more than dull. Overall, it’s a fairly lifeless and unnecessary franchise film.
Universal brings Scorpion King: Book of Souls to Blu-ray with a nice transfer that’s pretty damn gorgeous from start to finish, with beautiful blue skies and Egyptian scenery that has plenty of depth and detail. In regards to the audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD and Spanish and French 5.1 DTS Digital Surround tracks are the three options available. Everything comes through rich and clear on the English track with discernable dialogue, solid action sound effects, and a fantastic score by Frederik Wiedmann. It’s off the charts aggressive and really packs a punch. Optional English subtitles are available, but unfortunately, there are no extras other than a DVD of the film and an embossed slipcover.
Scorpion King: Book of Souls is definitely a film that doesn’t require much brain power to get through its 90-minute running time. It’ll likely be forgotten, but for the time being, the Blu-ray presentation of it is excellent. If you're a fan of the series, it’s at least worth a spin, if only one.
– David Steigman