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Monday, October 8, 2012

In the Name of the King (2006)

Uwe“I’m the only genius in the industry” Boll makes another glorious attempt at translating a video game to the big screen and with no surprise at all he again makes a large steaming pile of cinematic dung. The film isn’t as technically bad as previous outings like House of the Dead, and that is almost a stroke against it as the joy of watching spring board launched zombies is sadly missed here. Now this time Boll tries to make an epic with the scope of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and fails on about every level, and the scenes that are direct rip-offs from Jackson’s trilogy just make it all the worse by pointing out how it pales in comparison.
The story centers on farmer who is named Farmer (Jason Statham), even his wife calls him Farmer which is just plain silly. Now of course there is a reason he is called simply Farmer and that is because he isn’t just a farmer he’s a bloody superhero with a mysterious past. When his wife is kidnapped and son murdered by low rent orcs he goes into full vengeance mode and teams up with fellow farmer Norick (Ron Perlman) who also has a mysterious past, to save his wife and possibly the kingdom.

• Farmer has the fighting skills of Aragon and Captain America combined but we are never given any explanation as to how he got those skills. The big revelation about his past does not explain this at all.
• The woods are full of Cirque du Soleil amazons.
• The king has his own company of ninjas.
• Burt Reynolds is starting to look like Richard Lynch due to one too many plastic surgeries.
• Ray Liotta as the evil sorcerer Gallian is so badly miscast that I longed for Jeremy Irons from Dungeon and Dragons during all his scenes.
• All the battles are fought in the woods when it is tactically the dumbest thing an army can do.
• John Rhys-Davies is no Gandalf.
• Leelee Sobieski is no Arwen. She was so bad I kept wishing Nicholas Cage would show up in a bear suit to punch her in the face.
• Farmer never wears anything but his stupid shirt, even when he decides to join up with the army. No one had a spare chain mail shirt?
• Jason Statham can not deliver rousing speeches. I doubt he could inspire a group of cubscouts.
• Having your showdown between the hero (Farmer in full Aragon mode) against the villain (Gallian in full Suruman mode) makes little sense. Gallian had been clearly established as very powerful so having him up against a non-magic user the fight should have lasted ten seconds.

At two hours in length it often seems longer than Peter Jackson’s trilogy and that is mostly because we care nothing for any of the characters (with the possible exception of Ron Perlman but that’s cause he’s Ron Perlman), and when the film reaches it’s heroic conclusion my only thought was, "Eh, it could have been worse, it could have been three hours." It’s certainly not the worst sword and sorcery film every made, but if the money spent on this film had been put towards a good script, and given to a talented director, you could have maybe had something halfway decent.

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