In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale


Reviewed by: Daniel Hooper

Reviewing "an Uwe Boll film" – the filmmaker’s bad grammar, not mine – with objectivity is a challenge. He’s a man it’s easy to dislike, with an oeuvre consisting mostly of horrifically bad video game adaptations (not a sub-genre known for its quality output) and a knack of shameless self-promotion which includes having a punch-up with film critics.

Objectivity aside, ten minutes into his latest video game adaptation In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, it becomes apparent that Boll really can’t tell a story. We're dumped straight into the convoluted storyline without any build up, with Boll mistaking unexplained action for plot and hammy dialogue for exposition.

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Evil wizard Gallian (Ray Liotta) and Duke Fallow (Mathew Lillard) plot treason against the King (Burt Reynolds). Meanwhile, the imaginatively named Farmer (Jason Statham) tends the land with his loving family until animal-warriors, the Krugs, controlled by Gallian, inexplicably start attacking the villagers, and Farmer has to go on a quest to save his family, discovering a secret about himself on the way. The narrative is a mess of subplots, and the dialogue is so wincingly bad that when Gallian states, “don’t be so melodramatic” it is hard not to laugh.

The miscast cast try with what little quality material they’ve got but In The Name Of The King never rises above its status as the idiot baby brother of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. The plot of In The Name Of The King follows a group on a heroic quest to a faraway evil kingdom, the Krugs are merely Orcs on a budget of £4.65, and Howard Shore should investigate whether the copyrights to his LOTR original soundtracks have been infringed. So blatant is the theft from LOTR that the distributors have shaped the In The Name Of The King logo in the same style on the DVD.

The problems with In The Name Of The King are more than a lack of originality, and the most glaring is the overuse of shoddy CGI, such as huntsman’s arrows that look like DVD glitches, a no-handed sword battle unacceptable in a videogame cut scene, and worst of all, a wizardry backdrop better fitted as a screensaver. The excessive CGI may not have been so terrible if Boll could shoot footage on the basis of quality over coverage, but instead all the action lacks a focal point and the film is edited to excess, killing the flow of the film.

In The Name Of The King may be better than his previous schlock House Of The Dead and Bloodrayne, but that really is scant praise. There are some nice foreground shots and production design work but these, too, are reminiscent of LOTR. In one of Boll's many outlandish statements he has said that he’ll quit directing if an online petition requesting it reaches a million signatures (see our forum for details): can’t be long now.

Reviewed on: 30 Jun 2008
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Fantasy sees a man go on a quest to rescue his family.
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Director: Uwe Boll

Writer: Doug Taylor

Starring: Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Kristanna Loken, Matthew Lillard, Brian J. White, Mike Dopud, Will Sanderson, Tania Saulnier

Year: 2007

Runtime: 123 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: Germany, Canada, US


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