Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale - DVD Review

IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE (*1/2) - Starring Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, Burt Reynolds, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Matthew Lillard, Kristanna Loken, Brian White and Will Sanderson.
Written by Doug Taylor & Jason Rappaport.
Directed by Uwe Boll.

This is Uwe Boll's Lord of the Rings rip-off. It reminds me of the fantasy flicks from the late 1970's / early 1980's, with people of various accents traipsing through forests, fighting cheesy magicians and occasioanlly battling orc-like creatures. The orc rip-offs here are called Krug, and they walk like apes, grunt like guys in ape suits, but at least their masks look like they're from the planet Tatooine. How dumb are they? They light themselves on fire to get launched in a catapult.

Jason Statham's career seems above being in this kind of thing, but maybe he saw this as the only chance he'd ever get to do a period piece. He plays a farmer named Farmer, who just wants to grow fake turnips and be left alone with his idyllic family. The Krug invade at the behest of an evil magician played by Ray Liotta as part of a plan by a weaselly prince (Scooby Doo's Matthew Lillard) to get his uncle's throne. I'm pretty sure that's the plot, but Boll's not known for fluid story structure.

This movie is no different from my Boll rule. Give me the same cast and basic plot and I could still make a better movie. It'd be a challenge, given that Statham, Lillard, Liotta, Reynolds, etc., are such modern actors, but I could do it. Burt Reynolds looks the whole time like he wishes he were anywhere else.

Boll's slowly improving with each movie. House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark were the madir films of their years, but BloodRayne was not the worst movie of 2006 and I doubt this will end up being the worst movie of 2008. At this rate, by 2058 he'll make a movie I could honestly recommend.

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