By Sandra Alvarez
What do you get when you mix Burt Reynolds, Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and Ron Perlman in a movie together? You get a horrible movie. Those worlds are never meant to collide, and never in a fantasy movie. Unfortunately, that’s what happened this week when I watched In the Name of the King; I was stuck watching a movie that would make your eyes bleed. I was in the mood for a little fun and fantasy, and saw Jason Statham of action movie fame, i.e., The Transporter, The Italian Job, and thought, hey, this could work, it’s a fantasy, and he’s an action star, it could be good fun. Boy was I wrong…
Let me preface this by saying I only read about the director, Uwe Boll, after I had finished this painful movie. I was so stunned at how bad it was, I looked up the director to see how this ever made the light of day. Apparently, Boll has a track record for making some pretty horrible movies; he’s been universally panned, has a few Razzies under his belt, and had a petition making the rounds requesting enough signatures to get him to quit the industry. Had I known, I’d have happily passed on this disaster. Seeing Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Something Wild) as an evil wizard should’ve been my first hint that this was a bad idea.
The evil wizard Gallian (Liotta), has tricked Muriella, played by Leelee Sobieski (Joan of Arc, Uprising) to fall in love with him. He doesn’t love her, and is out to destroy the magical realm of Ehb with his orc-like Krug creatures. Meanwhile, a simple villager named Farmer (Statham) loses his son, and in-laws in a Krug attack, and has his wife kidnapped. He goes after his wife, Solana, played by Claire Forlani (Meet Joe Black, Medallion) with the help of his brother-in-law, Basstian played by Will Sanderson (who happens to be a Uwe Boll mainstay – he’s in almost all his films), and Norick, his adoptive father, played by Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy). In typical fashion, they fight Krug along the way, defeat the simpering king’s nephew, Duke Fallow, played by Scream’s Matthew Lilliard, defeat Gallian, and save Solana.
In the midst of this mess, you have of the worst casting decisions on the planet. Other than Liotta acting like an Italian mobster pretending to be Saruman, the casting of Burt Reynold’s (Boogie Nights, The Cannonball Run) as King Konreid, and John-Rhys Davies of Lord of the Rings fame as a wizard, are painful to watch. Rhys-Davies needs to just stick to dwarves and Reynold’s needs to stay far, far way from fantasy movies. The selections seemed so random, made no sense, and as a result, the movie was horribly executed. The dialogue was dreadful, the acting over-the-top, and the special effects were mediocre at best. All the money in the world could not have saved this movie.
The film was inspired by the Dungeon Siege video game. Most of Boll’s movies are video game adaptations. This movie was particularly bad, not only for the reasons outlined above, but because it was a very costly mistake of Boll, to the tune of $60 million. Ouch. Considering that this movie earned Sobieski a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress, Burt Reynolds as Worst Supporting Actor, and three more Razzies on top of that, my goal in this lifetime is to never again watch something by Uwe Boll. In spite of the movie being such an unmitigated disaster, Boll decided it was a good idea to film two more sequels to this film; none of which you will find on this site – as I refuse to review them. Ever.
Another thing to point out – this was a “star-dudded” cast. Boll had the money to pay for some good talent, but squandered it with plodding dialogue and a boring story line. He crammed as many big names onto the screen as he could afford, then just let that potential chemistry die. This was a case of everyone trying to make a paycheque, and surely afterwards, every one trying to forget they were in this film.
I was also bothered by the blatant rip offs of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Many scenes could have been right out of the Battle of Helm’s Deep, it wasn’t even disguised all that well. I’m surprised Boll wasn’t sued by Peter Jackson to be honest. Apparently, I’m not the first person to point this out – quite a few critics noted this bad copycat attempt.
I don’t need to say this anymore clearly, but this has to be the worst fantasy movie known to man so stay far, far away from it. It there was a minus number of stars, this would be a -5. Until next week, and hopefully, a much better movie, happy watching!