"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.