Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)

Director: Roel Reine

Writer: Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn (Screenplay) Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Victor Webster, Billy Zane, Ron Perlman, Selina Lo, Dave Bautista, Krystal Vee


Plot: Since his rise to power, Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Funnier Sequel


Story: The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starts where a disgraced Mathayus (Webster) is in search of a worthy death not that he has lost his kingdom and love, now he fights for money and honour with Horus (Perlman) hiring him to take out his brother Talus (Zane) a man trying to conquer the land. Mathayus is sent with European warrior Olaf (Christopher) who helps save a princess Silda (Vee) for King Ramusan (Morrison).

But this easy looking adventure takes a turn in the search for Cobra before Mathayus must come up against ghost warriors in Argomael (Bautista), Zulu Kondo (Ferguson), Tsukai (Lo) to free the kingdom from war.


Thoughts on The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption


Characters/PerformanceMathayus is now older which is good because now this is a sequel to the original as we see how he has fallen from grace but is still a brilliant warrior. Silda is the plucky warrior woman starting her own revolution against the evil ruler. With Talus being the over the top cowardly ruler that will never get his hands dirty. Olaf adds most of the laughs in this film with the ghost warriors all have a great look about them.

Performance wise, Victor Webster is solid in the leading role being an improvement on the last outing but never reaching Johnson level. Krystal Vee makes for yet another beautiful warrior but Billy Zane is way to over the top for this role. The early role for Dave Bautista does show how far he has come though. If you are looking to see a lot of Ron Perlman you will be disappointed.

StoryThe story follows what happens once Mathayus has fallen from the top returning to his warrior ways for money. Finding him stuck between two sides in the battle also works and it could be argued that this is the best story yet from a Scorpion King film.

Action/AdventureThe action is almost painfully choregraphed with the adventure side of the film going the wrong direction. The fantasy side does work in places with the ghost warriors.

SettingsThe settings once more could have just been anywhere with no location sticking out.

Special EffectsThe special effects are fine as the film cuts back on them mostly returning just to hand to hand combat.

Final ThoughtsThis story is good but the poorly directed action, poor acting and repetitive action gets tiresome quickly.


Overall: Another part of this franchise where you don’t need to see anything else beforehand.




The Condemned 2 (2015)

condemnedDirector: Roel Reine

Writer: Alan B McElroy (Screenplay)

Starring: Randy Orton, Eric Roberts, Wes Studi, Steven Michael Quezada, Bill Stinchcomb, Alex Knight, Dylan Kenin, Michael Sheets


Plot: A former bounty hunter who finds himself on the run as part of a revamped Condemned tournament, in which convicts are forced to fight each other to the death as part of a game that’s broadcast to the public.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Basic Action Film


Story: The Condemned 2 starts when Cyrus Merrick (Studi) is entertaining his people with twisted games in which his people bet on. Will Tanner (Orton) brings elite team of bounty hunters Harrigan (Stinchcomb), Cooper (Knight), Travis (Kenin), Lange (Sheets) and Michaels (Bicknell) to capture wanted criminal Cyrus things get out of hand leaving Cyrus dead and Will under arrest.

After getting off with just a suspended sentence Will returns to his father Frank (Roberts) as he looks for where to turn next, a real job as a tow truck operator. Will’s new job doesn’t start smoothly when Michaels comes after him as it turns out that he is now part of a revamped version of The Condemned game run by Raul Baccaro (Quezada) where his team are all being threatened into killing him.

The Condemned 2 goes in a different direction to the first one, it does show the respect by mentioning how that one went but this tried to evolve the style with the technology we have. This would be similar to watch Hostel 3 did for that series of films. I do think this could have been anything really it doesn’t need to just be a sequel and I would find it hard to see Will’s team turn so quickly on him. I will say I am disappointed with the lack of threat from colourful character which was one of the stand out moments in the first film but the skill sets each member of the team has does help. In the end everything comes off very simple and doesn’t give us much to guess with what is going on.


Actor Review


Randy Orton: Will Tanner is the bounty hunter who after a mistake leaves a target dead and his team disbanded. Avoiding jail, he returns home to start an honest living only to find his former team coming after him one by one as he finds himself the latest target in the revamped Condemned game. Randy gives us a performance you would expect from a wrestler turned actor but the action stops any short comings for him.


Eric Roberts: Frank Tanner is the father of Will who is embarrassed by Will having to stop the family business but sticks by him through the challenging events Will finds himself in the middle of. Eric gives us a good performance even if only in a supporting position.


Steven Michael Quezada: Raul Baccaro takes over the games and holds the contest between the bounty hunter team. This is his way of extracting revenge for Cyrus’ death by making Will face his own team. Steven makes for an average villain that is all threats but never threatening.


Bill Stinchcomb: Harrigan is one of the team and the only one that doesn’t turn on Will in fact he helps explain what is going on and helps him try and find a way to survive the rest of the team. Bill gives us a solid supporting performance that answers all the questions being asked.


Support Cast: The Condemned 2 has a small supporting cast which is mostly the rest of the team each with a different skill that Will must come up against.


Director Review: Roel ReineRoel gives us a basic action film that doesn’t leave much to the imagination.


Action: The Condemned 2 has basic fight scenes and easy explosions for the action side of the story.

Thriller: The Condemned 2 keeps you wondering which one will come up against Will next but doesn’t really leave you guessing what the rest are up to as you know Will won’t die.

Settings: The Condemned 2 tries to make the whole everyday life be the new target for the game.
Special Effects
: The Condemned 2 has basic effects for the explosions being used in the film.

Suggestion: The Condemned 2 is one for the action fans to try, it has basic action which will be enjoyed enough by all. (Action Fans Watch)


Best Part: Gas station fight.

Worst Part: Worst sniper ever.

Action Scene Of The Film: Gas station.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It can happen.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


Overall: Basic Action that is a non-stop ride.


Death Race 3 Inferno (2012)

logoDirector: Roel Reine

Writer: Tony Giglio (Screenplay) Paul W.S.Anderson, Tony Giglio (Story)

Starring: Luke Goss, Ving Rhames, Danny Trejo, Dougray Scott, Fred Koehler, Tanit Phoenix, Robin Shou


Story: Following on from the events in Death Race 2, Frankenstein is back, but after Weyland (Rhames) sells the rights to the Death Race to Niles York (Scott) things are about to change. The Death Race is going global and so is Frankenstein’s team Carl ‘Luke’ Lucas (Goss), Goldberg (Trejo) Lists (Koehler) and Katrina (Phoenix). The first race is set in the South African dessert, who will survive the Death Race?


Verdict: The race for life has never been so intense.

Story: Changing the location of the previous two films is the only real change in the story; giving it a chance to explore new areas, types of vehicles and types of racing. There is a very good story running parallel to the main race side of events. One big thing I noticed was a couple of well places parts that pay homage to the original Death Race 2000 film. (8/10)

Actor Review: Luke Goss – Carl Lucas returns as Frankenstein the best driver in the Death Race, he is also one tough son of a bitch who will never let anyone beat him in a fight. Goss continues to do a good job developing a character that Jason Statham started with, even if he is only a different version of Frankenstein. Luke is better than these straight to DVD titles and you can tell. Star Performance Award, Action Star Award, Kick Ass Award, Lesley’s Stud Muffin Award (9/10)


Actor Review: Ving Rhames – Is the boss who sales the Death Race to the cocky billionaire. Has limited scene time but always makes sure he is the centre of attention when he is on it. (8/10)


Actor Review: Danny Trejo – Returning as Frankenstein’s pit expert who is a tough guy who also provides mentorship to Lists. Typical Trejo performance where he talks very little and when he does with an angry tone. Favourite Character Award (7/10)


Actor Review: Dougray Scott – The billionaire who takes Death Race worldwide using his power and money to get everyone to do what he wants. Creates a power hunger villain but doesn’t offer anything original in his performance and is easily eclipsed by the villain in the Death Race film. (6/10)


Actor Review: Fred Koehler – Lists the guy who has never fitted in but is accepted by Frankenstein’s team. Needs things a certain way to stay with it, as well as being the smartest person on the crew. A performance that matches his in all three films, now it is time to break out of these roles and prove how good an actor he is. (8/10)

Actor Review: Tanit Phoenix – Girlfriend of Carl who also believes he is dead after the previous film. Doesn’t add anything but eye candy to the film which is disappointing as the side driver could be used to do so much more. Poor Performance Award, Babe Watch Award (5/10)


Director Review: Roel Reine – With a string of cheaply made sequels this guy does know how to make a good budgeted sequel and this is no different. (8/10)

Action: Plenty of action in the car racing department, as well as a couple of good fights. (9/10)


Frankenstein's car

Frankenstein’s car

Thriller: The races are not as edge of the seat as they should be, as too much focus on the racer who is about to crash rather than mixing it up and keeping you guessing on who the victim will be. (5/10)


Believability: Feeding on our love of reality TV that is about as far as it goes, proving we would watch anything about ‘real’ people on these shows. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: NONE (0/10)

Settings: Good setting, nice track, great locational scenery and brave for taking it out of the secure location previously seen. (9/10)
Oscar Chances

Chances of Sequel: Yes good chance of sequel with the story but maybe not on its money success.

Suggestion: I would be suggesting this to any of the fans of the previous films as well as the car fanatics. It may be too violent for the casual action fan. (Enjoy The Ride)


Best Part: The twist.

Worst Part: Not enough racing

Kill Of The Film: Olga has a great show down.

Similar Too: Death Race Series


Overall: Good racing film

Lesley’s Rating 55%