a critiQal film review In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: A simple family man (Statham) becomes a reluctant warrior after an army of murderous beasts commanded by an evil sorcerer (Liotta) ransacks his peaceful village and captures his wife (Forlani).

843 words (Est. Reading Time 4m 12s)

Nothing seems to be able to stop Uwe Boll from making films. He laughs at horrible reviews and hideous box office receipts, then goes out and makes yet another stinker – and still manages to attract big name talent. How? Every time I hear of another star-studded Uwe Boll film, I just shake my head – and end up renting it on DVD, hoping against hope that Uwe’s finally made good.

That was the case with In The Name Of The King as well. Again, it’s packed with well-known names like Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, Claire Forlani, Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard and Burt Reynolds…and again it seemed to zoom in and out of theaters, even during the normally slow movie month of January. And yet again, I added it to my blockbuster.com queue.

Would In The Name Of The King finally become Uwe’s first decent film, or was I destined for another painful Uwe movie disaster?

Jason Statham seems to make films without any regard to the script at all. Whether he’s delivering cheesy lines in or duking it out with Jet Li in The One, he delivers as good a performance as he can. Sometimes the movie runs over him, and sometimes he just makes the movie that much better – either way, he doesn’t seem to care.

The same can be said for his performance in In The Name Of The King. He’s got to be the only actor that can deliver some truly horrendous dialogue with a straight face, a fact viewers have to give him credit for. And he gets a lot of practice doing just that in this film. Still, he manages to connect with the audience somewhat anyway, a real feat.

Leelee Sobieski also does a good job of trying her best to connect with the audience, despite the ridiculous cardboard nature of her character and her share of cheesy lines. She becomes a real highlight in a film filled with way too many lows.

Ray Liotta turns in another lackluster performance in In The Name Of The King, albeit with a little more fire than viewers have seen from him lately. His downward trend in films like and the like used to cause viewers to shake their heads in sad memory of the actor he used to be. By this point, however, viewers are becoming less forgiving as his career continues to slide.

Burt Reynolds conjures up a very fatherly king in In The Name Of The King, and the rueful shake of his head towards Matthew Lillard’s Duke (played so over-the-top it’s annoying) seems more world weary than the script calls for. Burt seems to be shaking his head not only at the Duke, but at Matthew Lillard’s over-acting and the happenstances that have caused Burt to make an appearance in this film.

The rest of the cast, including Claire Forlani, Ron Perlman, John Rhys-Davies and Kristanna Loken are ill-used in the film, and aren’t able to get past the cheesy dialogue and cardboard characters to really connect with the audience on any level.

While the plot seems solid at the start, Uwe manages to make every twist and turn of the film readily apparent to the viewer long before it happens. And by long, we’re talking eons, since most of the film is filled with overly long setup sequences that are some of the most boring scenes seen on film since, well, Uwe’s last picture.

With a setup that mimics The Lord of the Rings in so many ways (including the evil Sorcerer and his army of creatures they must face), In The Name Of The King seems to be a sure-fire action-packed movie. Instead, thanks in large part to the idiotic dialogue and cardboard characters, the audience is instead in store for a movie that seems to be about as exciting in parts as watching paint dry (Heather actually fell asleep during the film).

The Uwe curse continues with his latest In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. Even worthwhile efforts from Jason Statham and LeeLee Sobieski can’t totally bring this film out of the spiral towards idiocy it descends into, and go largely wasted. However, with the overall acting prowess of so many well-known names, they do manage as a group to overcome the usual Uwe idiocy to some extent, making this the best of Uwe’s films so far (although that really isn’t saying much).

Again, I have to wonder why stars keep signing on for Uwe films. It seems to me that stars would be running away from Uwe in droves by this point – and yet he keeps drawing them in. Does he shell out the big bucks, is it more of a Hollywood dare, or are they just bound and determined to succeed where all others have failed and be part of the first Uwe film worth seeing?

Guess that will continue to remain one of Hollywood’s best kept secrets – right up there with how Uwe continues to get financing for his pictures.

1 Comment

  1. i love to watch movies that made it to the box office, they are usually great movies with good story :*`

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