I hate Uwe Boll. I hate his movies, and I hate him personally. He's either an idiot or a man who cares about nothing but himself, and I can't respect him for either of those reasons. He has made the worst movies of the last ten years, and is the worst director in decades. Yet, he continues to make movies and studios continue to distribute them. Why? Because idiots like me with a slight passion for self-punishment still watch his films.
Watching his movies are like taking drugs. You know they're bad for you and you know you'll feel worse afterwards, yet you take a hit anyway.
That being said, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is Boll's most satisfying film yet. The movie is easier to watch than any of his others, which is good, but it's still terrible, too, which is funny.
King, based upon a video game franchise I had never heard of nor care to, follows a peasant named Farmer (Jason Statham) who sets out to rescue his wife from an evil sorcerer (Ray Liotta) who is intent on taking over the world. Along the way, Farmer finds himself in all kinds of problematic situations and eventually ends up leading the King's army against the forces of evil.
In pretty much every way, King is a rip-off of The Lord of the Rings. If I were to rip off any film, I guess Rings would be a good franchise to steal from, but beyond the creatures, story and action, at times it looks like Boll literally took footage from the Oscar-winning films and CGI'd in his own actors. There are several laughable scenes that look like exact copies from other, better films.
Still, as I said before, there are worse movies to steal from. And if ripping off other movies is how Boll can improve, then all the power to him (except I still want to see him fail miserably, and realize it). The production design and cinematography look much better here than in previous efforts, thankfully, and at least time of shooting, despite really poor costume design, it looks like Boll had a capable crew at his disposal.
Unfortunately, any semblance of a truly respectable film faded away during the editing and post-production process. The editing is absolutely atrocious, with embarassing cuts at times that make no sense. It looks like Boll forgot to film certain scenes and had to cut around the holes, but who knows what goes on inside the head of a mad man. Beyond the editing, the film's score is dreadful and ridiculously cheesy. Scores can make or break films, and I have to wonder how much better this movie could have been had Boll respected the art of music.
Despite his track record, Boll once again has managed to blackmail a respected cast into working with him. Jason Statham, who I like despite his tendency to pick B-grade movies, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Kristanna Loken, Matthew Lillard, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds all take part in this travesty. While most of these actors I don't expect a whole lot out of them, I still question their judgement when they signed on for a Uwe Boll film. They can't be getting paid that much. I just don't get it.
King is better than Boll's other movies by a long shot, but it's still pretty dreadful. Boll clearly had a larger budget to work with and was shooting for epic scale, but when you aim high and miss by so much, it's pretty noticable. With the poor editing and score, as my roommate said, In the Name of the King is like a porno without the porn. Enough said.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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