Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Shitty Movie Review - "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale"
I really am going about this all wrong. Usually when I review a shitty movie, I watch it just prior to writing so that I have a fresh take on it, but in this case I plan on reviewing "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" all from memory. This is also only the second Uwe Boll movie I've seen, so I'm not judging it against his other classic works such as "House of the Dead" or "Bloodrayne" which I also hope to get around to viewing.
As with all Uwe Boll movies, this one has a star-studded cast: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani, Kristanna Loken, Leelee Sobieski, Matthew Lillard, Claire Forlani, and Gimli. How Boll gets so many name actors in his movies I will never know, unless he's actually Satan and or his casting director has shit on all these people. In any case it's an incredibly eclectic cast that further enhances an experience that only Boll can construct.
As for the story, I won't really waste much of your time there. Something about Jason Statham as a farmer referred to as "Farmer," Ray Liotta as a wizard from New Jersey, and Burt Reynolds as a disinterested king and one of the few actors who visibly looks like he wishes he was anywhere but in this movie. Jason Statham's family is slaughtered by the Krug, a shittier version of Orcs, which if I'm not mistaken came from mud. (Ed. note: I might be mixing up the Orcs origin from "Lord of the Rings," but either way the Krug were more ridiculous.) Yes, they're mud orcs, and Ray Liotta controls them. They even kill Farmer's son, a heinous act, but one which the audience overlooks because they're trying to figure out why witness protection has placed Henry Hill in a castle as a wizard controlling Krug via Krug-vision. If he's such a powerful wizard, why is he remote-controlling the Krug to kill defenseless kids and grandparents with one foot in the grave? When the Krug kidnap Farmer's wife, a visibly aged Claire Forlani, Farmer sets out along with fellow neighbor, Ron Perlman, on a quest to recover his wife and to seek vengeance.
When the movie isn't caught up in the requisite sword fighting, wizardy, and magical-boomerang throwing (Statham, the Transporter, thug, and all-around tough guy fights with a boomerang that always comes back, because that's what farmers do), it's filled with sweeping aerial shots of the British Columbia coastline. I watched the extended director's cut which featured a whopping additional 45 minutes, about half of which was aerial shots. We get it, it's a fantasy movie. If you were only the slightest bit annoyed by the aerial shots in the "Lord of the Rings" series, prepare to be driven mad by the director that is Uwe Boll. I know those shots are expensive, but it doesn't mean you have to use all the shots you take. Twice.
Despite these distractions, there are two things worth seeing in this movie. the first is Ray Liotta versus Jason Statham in a Matrix-style showdown. Ray Liotta throws fireballs and flies through the air on wires. Nuff said there. But the real reason to see this movie is Matthew Lillard's scene-stealing performance as the conniving Duke Fallow, nephew to the king. I can only remember one of his lines (a haughtily exuded "huzzah, huzzah!") but his performance will haunt you. He goes so over the top, he comes up from the bottom again in a case where the actor clearly knows the movies is shite, and performs it that way seeing if the director will stop him. And God bless Uwe Boll, because he just lets him go. In fact, that pretty much seems the case with everybody in the movie. Do whatever you want. Hey you, Ray, I loved you in "Goodfellas," be more like that. Lillard gives the roll of a lifetime, chewing on the dialog before letting it dribble floridly from his lips. When he's not on the screen and especially whenever there's aerial shots or Krug-vision, you hope he'll be back soon. If only he performed all his parts this way.
While the director's cut might not warrant a viewing, definitely check out the theatrical cut. It's a head-scratching experience but enjoyable in the way shitty movies are. Believe me, without Freddie Prinze, Jr. to rain on his parade, Matthew Lillard is aces all the way.
My shitty movie rating: 8.5 out of 10. Matthew Lillard is astounding!