The Scorpion King: Book of Souls Blu Ray Review (Universal)
The Scorpion King: Book of Souls is a 2018 direct to video action film directed by Don Michael Paul (Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy, Tremors 5: Bloodlines/Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, & Half Past Dead). It’s the 5th film in The Scorpion King franchise which is a spin off from 2001’s The Mummy Returns. It’s produced by filmmaker Stephen Sommers (The Mummy TV Series, The Scorpion King franchise, G.I. Joe franchise, & Van Helsing), Sean Daniel (Hard Target, Dazed and Confused, Mallrats, & Tombstone), & James Jacks (Raising Arizona, The Mummy franchise, A Simple Plan, & Village of the Damned). In ancient Egypt, the evil warlord Nebserek (played by: Peter Mensah from Jason X, Tears of the Sun, The Incredible Hulk, True Blood, & Spartacus) with his brutal henchwoman Khensa (played by: Mayling Ng from Wonder Woman, Lady Bloodfight, & Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids) discovers a cursed sword that makes the one who wields it more powerful with every soul it strikes down.
Determined to stop his power from growing, the Scorpion King (played by: Zach McGowan from Death Race 4: Beyond Anarchy, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The 100, Black Sails, & Dracula Untold) joins forces with Nubian Princess Tala (played by: Pearl Thusi from Tremors 5: Bloodlines, Quantico, & Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu), mysterious woman Amina (played by: Katy Louise Saunders from Virgin Territory, Follow Your Dreams, & The Borgia), & her rock monster Enkidu (played by: Nathan Jones from Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlie’s Farm, Conan the Barbarian, The Condemned, & Fearless) to find the one thing that can defeat Nebserek: the Book of Souls!!!!
Book of Souls is the 2nd best film in The Scorpion King series after the original! I own every single Scorpion King release & they all have their moments. Don Michael Paul knows how to handle a low budget sequel to a popular feature or franchise since he’s been doing it for awhile with productions from Tremors, Jarhead, Death Race, Lake Placid, Kindergarten Cop, & Sniper. This had a lower budget & didn’t have any established or known actors in like the other movies. Zach McGowan honestly looks nothing like the previous adaptations of Mathayus but his performance is solid here especially for this type of flick. This is the 2nd collaboration in a row from Don Michael Paul & Zach McGowan. The supporting cast is full unknowns for the most part, they were decent but this production could have been casted better. I really liked the Enkidu character in this & I thought the overall visual/special effects were real good for what they had to work with. It seemed like a bigger production than what it actually was. It had a decent amount of action, more of a story compared to the others, & it kept me entertained the whole time. I went into it with low expectations & I ended up surprised on overall quality of the finished product. If you are into low budget action or The Scorpion King franchise I definitely RECOMMEND this!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks great on home video especially for it’s low budget. The cinematography & visual style really stands out here & it gives it more life than your typical direct to video feature. It has 3 different audio options which include English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, & Spanish: DTS 5.1 on the disc. It captures all the action, adventure, & the dialogue is very clean on the tracks. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles. It has no extras on it. It has a special embossed print slipcover that feels really cool, digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. It’s also included in a Scorpion King 5 film set. It’s available everywhere right now including on Netflix if you want to preview it before you buy, CHECK IT OUT!!!!