Although there now stand three 'In the Name of the King' films, this was the only one to get any sort of theatrical release. Despite its all-star cast and popular video game-related title, the film ended up being a box office bomb, not even breaking the weekend's Top 10 upon its release. The film was critically panned left and right, up and down, and widely considered one of the worst video game adaptations of all time. This is also another one brought to us by Uwe Boll, marking his fourth video game adaptation... that's also not a typo, since I got the dates confused between this and his fifth, 'Postal', but here we are.
For those keeping track, it started with 'House of the Dead', and continued, in order, with 'Alone in the Dark', 'Bloodrayne', 'In the Name of the King' and 'Postal'. This means there's only one more in this collection for me to endure, and it's literally next on the list. But back to the film at hand, this is loosely based on the 'Dungeon Siege' action RPG games. There are similarities, such as the location, taking place in the fantasy world of Ehb, but this is a lot like that one time they tried to make 'Dungeons & Dragons' a movie. For a game with customisable characters, and no real characters to route for that we'd be familiar with, there's a lot of free reign, save for a few elements here and there. The one thing this really had going for it, however, was its star power, which manages to transform this into an absolute guilty pleasure.
We meet a man known only as "Farmer" (Jason Statham), living a sunshine and rainbows life with his wife, Solana (Claire Forlani) and son, Zeph (Colin Ford). One day, a band of creatures known as the Krug (a primitive, animalistic race) attacks their town, and it seems iffy that they seem suddenly intelligent enough to be able to attack much like humans would. Revealed to the audience, they are being controlled by a magic user named Gallian (Ray Liotta) who wants to simply take over the Kingdom of Ehb. Farmer fights a battle against the Krug, alongside his friend, Norick (Ron Perlman) and brother-in-law, Bastian (Will Sanderson), but fails to save his son from being killed, and his wife, along with other townspeople taken prisoner.
Coming in to survey the damage and try to recruit for his army, is King Konreid (Burt Reynolds), accompanied by Commander Tarish (Brian White), another magic user named Merick (John Rhys-Davies) and a small group of Ehb's army. Farmer, Norick and Bastian refuse to join, however, and they set off on their own to search for Solana, believing she is still alive. That's the main plot, but we also come across Merick's daughter, Muriella (Leelee Sobieski) who, once in love with Gallian, has noted his dark side, and believes herself to be the reason he's so powerful. Perhaps most odd, however, is Konreid's nephew, Duke Fallow (Matthew Lillard), who plots to one day take his uncle's throne. Now, think of Lillard being his typical whacky self, but with a bad English accent. It was... bizarre. Nothing against Lillard at all, but one must admit, him in a medieval film where he's not a jester doesn't feel like it fits.
This is a film worthy of being thrown in the discount bin pretty quickly (and I think it actually was). It's a strange mishmash of big names, bad direction, and borrowing from all sorts of things, namely high fantasy titles like 'Lord of the Rings' with some of its sets and a lot of its atmosphere. It does, however, play out a lot more like 'Dungeons & Dragons'. The plot is pretty standard; girl gets kidnapped, hero must save damsel in distress. Beyond that, a lot of the performances are quite funny to watch, but not really in the right way. Perhaps most entertaining is somewhere between Ron Perlman's cheesy one-liners, and trying to take Burt Reynolds seriously as a king, when I've seen him as a pornographic director before.
This one is a little bit harder to find, but it's worth checking out if you can. Don't get the wrong idea though. Uwe Boll still pretty much equals "Bad Movie". However, as I mentioned earlier, I can make this one of my many guilty pleasures. Another "so bad it's good movie" to show my friends and laugh at, doing the 'Mystery Science Theater' thing with it. Unlike pretty much all of his previous films I've reviewed, this is one I could see myself actually coming back to if I have some time and nothing else to do. On that note, I am pretty pleased that I only have one more Boll film on this list, and that's coming up next. Will it be his saving grace? Or is this guilty pleasure of a film the best I'm going to get?