In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Reviews
Several of the sweeping landscape shots, echoing Peter Jackson's approach to showcasing New Zealand, even up to and including a rather decent little wizard's keep with traditional lava flows, are not bad. Others though, especially those featuring the castle of the good king (more on him later), are quite transparently dodgy CGI, perhaps the addition of a coconut clapping squire exclaiming 'it's only a model!' would have helped here.
Writers, perhaps, were not where the money was spent, either in overall plot concept or dialogue. Mysterious orphan being heir to the throne is not really a trope still in the blossoming of its youth, though the man could make a good business selling dream turnips to various incarnations of the Baldrick family. His proficiency with a machete/sword and a boomerang early on indicates he is either the son of a great and noble line, or the Hero of Time reborn. Unfortunately he has no green hat, or indeed any wardrobe change within the whole two odd hours, even after becoming king (ironically the machinations of the known next-in-line, good king's nephew, are what cause his status to become known, not sure if this irony, or vague Macbeth-like plot device are intended, probably not).
Other points of interest include the vaguely elven/Amazonian pseudo-pacifist forest dwellers and their magic ivy, good king and his fascinating accent (accents being randomly scattered throughout the population by the god or gods (although it is quite clear the goodies have a religion the invoked power/s are rather evenly split between the singular and plural), who is clearly a very good and just man because he knows about a village capable of raising two crops a year because seaweed is washed onto it, enriching the soil (salt water not being an issue in this magical land). Oh, and the 'krug' who are an apparently boorish and stupid race, with no desire to do anything, unless an evil wizard says so.
The evil wizard, who seems to come from Las Vegas, is the real villain of the piece, with an accent perhaps even more jarring than good king's, he opens the piece by apparently draining the magic power out of good wizard's daughter mid-coitus, before running off to mastermind the krug attack from the midst of his swirling cyclone of clichéd dialogue, whence he seemingly possesses all the leadership amongst the non-human baddies at once, controlling his minions with vaguely fascistic arm movements, and sending his avatars one by one into the good guys' swords. Lucky for him, there are an infinite amount of bad guys to get slaughtered, indeed, when they aren't dying fast enough they jump into their own catapults, set themselves on fire and shoot themselves at their foes (except when their foes have the high ground but are backed onto a vast forest and using flaming munitions might actually have some tactical value).
Oh, did I mention good king has a squad of ninjas? He does, no idea why. They turn up when the krug learn to burrow under the ground and come up under people in the manner of zombies, but pop up occasionally even after the krug forget they can do that.
John Rhys-Davies turns up every now and again as the good wizard (sorry, magus). One hopes he was well paid, poor fellow. If only Peter Jackson had let him be a wizard as well as a dwarf and an ent he might not have felt the need for this.
In short, ludicrous film, real budget, great big mess. In honour of the concept I have written this review without editing or bothering to check it holds together. Maybe if you've managed to get this far you'll manage the film too.
For me, I had to see In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale twice. The first time I watched it I knew it would be crap and it was, but it was so crap that it was hilarious. So with expectations of it to be more dreadful and funny the second time around, I had hopes to find that In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale would be so bad that it was good.
One of the issues which makes things unconvincing is the conventional cinematography. Despite a few moments featuring tracking shots which look good, the majority of the cinematography in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale proves to be merely conventional shots of the actors faces which follow them as they move through the land. It is shaky and poorly edited a lot of the time as well, and the only thing that it tends to captures is shoddily choreographed action scenes anyway. So there is little visual appeal in the technical elements of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, and even the visual effects of the film are shoddy. There is nothing to boast about in how In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale looks.
But the most clear element that makes the film look cheap is largely the scenery. Shot on the coast of a Canadian Island, it is too easy to notice that the setting for the film is bad. If In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale wanted to establish the setting of a medieval kingdom, it should have been filmed somewhere where there is miles of solid Greenland. Instead, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale looks like it was shot on Craggy Island, the fictitious location where the Irish sitcom Father Ted. So in terms of legitimacy, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale misses its mark. But it is assisted in looking terrible by the production design of the film. As well as using cardboard set pieces, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale does not use nearly enough of them to be a mile from realism. The scene in which the farmer's village is attacked is the prime example of this because it capitalises on the cheap scenery and the few wicker huts built to preserve the fictitious idea that farmers actually live there. There is minimal huts actually there and what little they are prove to be nothing but cheap looking. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale would need someone like Sherlock Holmes to find out exactly where all the money in the $60 million budget went, but I can presume that it would mostly be in the salaries for the actors and construction fees for Uwe Boll's ego.
The musical score starts out promising during the more quaint scenes in the movie, but it is only when things get more climactic and the action kicks off that viewers realise precisely how poor the soundtrack is. It becomes a series of generic and repetitive screeching sounds which make In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale less of a treat on the ears than it is on the eyes.
The final scene in the film is good. Despite having senseless plotting and poor audio dubbing, the final scene of In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale incurs some decent action choreography and dedication from Jason Statham and Ray Liotta. If more of the film was like the final scene then it would have the possibility of being a guilty pleasure. Unfortunately, that is not the case this time. It could have been if Uwe Boll got himself more focused, but he was too busy wasting the budget on arbitrary purposes to remember that he is supposed to be making a fantasy action adventure star vehicle for Jason Statham.
The most laughable element in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is the fact that halfway through, the audio syncing loses touch with the video. The dialogue of the actors comes out half a second after their mouths move, and it is just such a ridiculous mistake. It's a rookie mistake, I mean how the hell do you fail to notice while editing a film that the audio has lost touch with the video? It's such a rookie mistake, something nobody in their right mint should mess up. But as Uwe Boll proves time and time again, he is not in his right kind and so In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale proves to be crap for all new reasons. I'm uncertain if this flaw is due to the film's editing or the DVD release, but both copies I have seen be the digital or DVD have the same severe audio flaw, so either way it would make more sense to point the finger in Uwe Boll's direction as his incompetent handling of the rest of the film would very likely reflect on the audio dubbing as well.
It's impressive that Uwe Boll lined up such a talented cast of actors for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. But what's surprising is just how poor they all do.
Jason Statham is the one actor to be half decent. The only thing that Jason Statham can bring to In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale his his gimmick due to the fact that it is fun to see the same actor who portrayed Frank Martin in The Transporter wielding a sword and saying such generic words. A lot of the time it is part of Jason Statham's gimmick for him to be such an emotionless warrior. The issue is that In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale makes a cheap attempt to put emotion into him and Uwe Boll cannot direct an actor to save himself. Luckily enough Jason Statham's simple presence makes him somewhat compelling in the lead role and his training as an action hero makes it interesting to see him. And in all honesty, the way he delivers his final line in the film is so ridiculously monotonous that it is perfectly laughable. Jason Statham's presence in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale makes the film watchable simply for its cheap gags.
Burt Reynolds is ok as well. The problem again is with the direction. Uwe Boll seems to be so starstuck about the fact that he managed to get Academy Award nominee Burt Reynolds for his film that he seemed to forget to establish a character for him. All Burt Reynolds ends up playing is himself in a Saturday Knight Live sketch, and yes that was a pun. His presence is entertaining, but it is sad to see that his career has sunk low enough for him to have to work with Uwe Boll, but the fact that he is present does elevate the film lightly due to his archetypal charm. His performance is nothing to boast about because the character is not up to his standard or even ridiculous enough to give him opportunities for comedy, and he receives minimal screen time. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see him on board in such a crap film.
Ray Liotta comes close to being the best actor in the film. Although he doesn't best Jason Statham because his gimmick is not as appealing, as he has portrayed thugs and criminals countless times in other films, it is no challenge to see him as the central antagonist for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. He combines his natural thug archetype with cheesy medieval language and ends up giving a performance which is the right mix between legitimate and camp. Considering the standard for acting in Uwe Boll films, Ray Liotta does a decent job simply because he fits the profile of the seriously intended but unintentionally silly nature of the film.
John Rhys-Davies is a good presence as well considering the fact that he portrayed Gimli in The Lord of the Rings trilogy which In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is clearly a rip off of. He brings a sense of brooding confidence for the part which makes him a welcome addition to the cast. And even though he has another generic character, he does his part ok enough.
Matthew Lillard is just blatantly ridiculous in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. His performance is like a mix of Liberace's flamboyance and William Shatner's melodramatic Shakespearian acting style. The actor once popular for is spot on performance as Shaggy Rogers in Scooby-Doo is used for clearly intended comic relief in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, but even then the only reason that it is funny is due to the fact that it is so unfunny. Either way he is interesting to watch because it is just so wrong. So Matthew Lillard gives a perfect good bad performance in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.
Ron Perlman is always welcome in films, and so the fact that he is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale makes the ride a little bit easier. But his screen time is far too minimal for anyone to really capitalise on his existence. His role is incredibly diminutive which fails to capitalise on his status as a popular cultural figure. He is incredible underused.
Will Sanderson's clueless facial expressions make for some hilarious moments as well. He seems genuinely confused as to what's going on the entire time in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, so he easily adds to the idea of the film being an unintentional comedy which is so bad that it's good, as well as the fact that he is clearly intended as a Legolas lookalike which adds to the idea that In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is a Lord of the Rings rip-off.
Leelee Sobieski is fairly crap as well.
So thanks to Uwe Boll's godawful direction, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is a cheap looking waste of $60 million with a terrible script and lacklustre acting which may render it a perfect example of being so bad that it is somewhat good. But it isn't bad enough in the right sense to be good-bad as a whole.
I've seen some things in my short time on this earth. But this film literally is so bad, it is actually good. It is actually worth watching due to the comedic nature of how bad it is. You will actually be entertained by witnessing this creation.
Now for a start, I do not think we can pin any blame for this film on Jason Statham. Yes he is one dimensional and plays the same sort of character in most films he is in, but he is an action star, so we can accept that cant we. I honestly believe he was some how duped into appearing in this film because I'm sure he would not have willingly gone through the whole thing otherwise. And even the well timed appearance of the famous movie killer Ron Pearlman does not warrant any blame for this creation.
Director Uwe Boll has really created a master piece in film making. The visuals, script, characters even props are like something out of a power rangers convention.
The film seems to also try really hard to be something its not. An epic Lord of the Rings style adventure with big battles and with big epic music.
I honestly do not know how to review this with any seriousness. I am actually giving it 5 stars and top reviews and advising people should watch it. It honestly is a comedic master piece and will make you realise how lucky you really are to have decent film makers and writers out there.
Interesting cast (Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds) but shame about the film.
not worth knowing it thou^^
This is a terrible film. It has a half decent cast. It's got the Bandit in it.
But, this man knows as much about film making as a kangaroo knows about the history of fixed wing aviation in early twentieth century Canada. No stars. Not a single one!