Text Reviews Theatrical Review

Theatrical Review: In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

In the Kingdom of Ehb, a power struggle is starting to occur, with the Mystic, Gallian and the king’s n’er-do-well nephew, Duke Fallow working together to overthrow King Konreid, while in the back ground the struggle hits close to a peasant named Farmer who’s much more than he seems.

And simply enough, that’s the basic premise of In the Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, the newest movie from the infamous director Uwe (pronounced oof-ah) Boll, who’s known for making movies of video games with less than spectacular results. The funny thing here though… believe it or not, this is actually a lot of fun, and not in the way of it’s so bad it’s fun, but in the it’s actually a decent movie it’s fun. I’ve got to admit, I’ve no experience at all with the video game this is based on, so I can’t say if it’s true to the game or not. But in a sea of the same old fantasy films adapting books about precocious children finding their true destiny, this one stands out by being very easy to follow, very straightforward, having some great action scenes and best of all, not being pretentious for one bit.

I’ve only seen Boll’s adaptation of House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark prior to this, and while both movies are indeed fairly awful, Boll certainly did have his moments with some good shots here and there and some decent action bits. When I saw him during G4’s Comic-Con coverage, it was nice to see anyway that the director had a sense of humor about himself, and he certainly knows that he’s out there to make these B-movies, there’s little pretension at all to him. Well, with In The Name Of The King he’s really made something that I thought was a genuinely good time at the movies. I mean let’s make no mistake about this, this was undoubtedly for it’s director and his cast a paycheck job, and even with that, sometimes you get some happy ends, and this just happens to be one of them. In some perverted way, I was almost hoping this might be so bad that I’d want to walk out on it, so just imagine my own pleasant surprise when I came out of it at the end, genuinely charged up by what I’d just seen. Now for those of you looking for another Lord of the Rings in your fantasy movies, well you’ll just need to keep looking, this is more like something like The Beastmaster in comparison to that, and personally, I think that’s pretty cool.

Boll has a big name cast here: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Leelee Sobieski, Brian White, John Rhys Davies, Claire Forlani, Ron Perlman, Matthew Lillard and Kristianna Loken all headline here. And I’ll certainly admit that guys like Burt Reynolds and Ray Liotta would be the last I’d expect to see in something like, they, at least in my opinion, don’t just slop this off, and in particular Liotta looks like he’s genuinely having a good time with the part. But the person who fares the best here is Statham. His character of Farmer actually has a few more facets to him than the characters he’s played in some contemporary parts, and he actually gets to stretch his acting muscles a bit for this roll.

Seriously, this really was a lot of fun. It moves very briskly, with some really fantastic action scenes, especially one major battle in the middle of the film, and overall has a nice “comic book” sort of feel, that again for me, was totally unexpected. I honestly can say that I think if you were to see this and at least come into it with a fairly open mind and not be ready to jump on the bash Uwe Boll bandwagon, you’ll actually have a pretty good time with the movie. I know I for one honestly can’t wait to see it again when it comes home on DVD… good stuff, and good job Uwe Boll…

By Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

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