|Karen David & Michael Copon|
The protagonists in their journey are all right in some respects because of their distinguished personalities. Although Michael Copon as Mathayus is perhaps too young looking for the role, he at least has the physique to look like he's on his way and he can passably act for what it's worth. Along side Mathayus is Layla (Karen David), a childhood friend/potential lover. She's fun to watch in her action sequences but her role is not defined clearly enough. Why include a possible love interest when clearly she would not return in Mathayus' future? Then there's Ari (Simon Quarterman), a Greek poet who runs into Layla and Mathayus and persuade them to find the ancient artifact. Don't expect much for special antagonists though. Randy Couture as Sargon could've possibly pulled off being an okay villain if he had more to do than scowl/stand and speak with an enhanced voice-over. It's obvious that Couture is not acting material but he at least could've done something. Sure he flips over some people but that's about it. Next to him is Natalie Becker as a goddess named Astarte. Although she actually does a couple things like battling and explaining how Sargon got his powers, she's not all that interesting to get to know. What was her motivation to even give Sargon her powers?
That's the problem; even with all these issues, if the script was at least written so the audience could relate to Mathayus and his father in some fashion and developed them, perhaps the drama between them would've been more understandable. As mentioned before, the action sequences do have a certain amount of energy thrown into them. Like a lot of other ancient movie settings, sword fights and mystical devices are essential at the minimum and that's at least taken care of. It's not anything special or out of the ordinary in performance but it at least tries. The special effects on other hand looked like they were wasted. There was only one setting which actually looked decent and that was when the protagonists headed into the underworld where the dead becomes apart of the habitat. That at least looked real and like actual creativity went into it. However, that doesn't make up for everything else where every creature was either concealed entirely by darkness or up close camera shots so that the whole image could not be seen. Lame.
It has okay action sequences, distinguishable protagonists, steady camerawork but with only these components that work, it makes this prequel to a prequel spin-off series not all that interesting. Its music is generic, the special effects look last minute, the direction is misguided and its villains are not anything to talk about.
Points Earned --> 4:10