I don’t think Uwe Boll is quite as awful a director as his most dedicated haters do, but I still think he is quite bad indeed. It was a very painful experience sitting through the offensively bad acting and dialogue of House of the Dead (2003), but I kind of enjoyed, in a campy way, his BloodRayne (2005), although not enough to watch the sequels. In 2007 I watched his Postal, which had a few funny bits and ideas, but was generally toe-cringing in its tasteless style and best forgotten. 2007 was also the year of Boll’s Great Big Hollywood Movie (TM): In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. It had – God knows how – a $60 million budget (aaah!) and starred about a dozen well-known Hollywood actors (though many of them were a bit washed up), from Leelee Sobieski and Ron Perlman to Matthew Lillard, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds (!). The star was British action-man Jason Statham. It was quite awful and totally bombed.
Naturally, that did not deter Boll from producing an alleged sequel at a vastly, vastly reduced budget. I say “alleged”, because I can detect no actual connection between the 2007 movie and In the Name of the King: Two Worlds (2011), beyond taking place mostly in some medieval fantasy world. Is it supposed to be the same world in the two movies? Beats me; the production values of the “sequel” are on the level of a live role-playing game, and entirely lacks the vast fields and lush landscapes of the former movie. Nonetheless, it does have some slight entertainment value and is not actually painful to watch – merely a bit embarassing at times (quite often, to tell the truth).
Aging Dolph Lundgren plays Granger, a retired, decorated army dude whose days are now filled with teaching karate to little kids and having regrets about the comrades he lost in the army. One day his home is invaded by strange caped and hooded men, and after having fought them he meets a young sorceress who opens a portal to a medieval magic kingdom, pulls him through, and feeds him a crock of silliness about being “the chosen one”. He then falls in with a shifty king called Raven, who tells Granger that his destiny is to kill an old sorceress known as the Holy Mother. He is accompanied on his quest by a delectable doctor, played by Natassia Malthe, who is very curious about “the time beyond” that Granger comes from. Meanwhile, king Raven turns out to be an alchemist who wants to inflict the plague on the modern world…
Without spoiling the ending (which, rather too optimistically, hopes for yet another sequel), that’s about it. The movie is clumsily and bumblingly directed and has few redeeming virtues of any kind, and the ending doesn’t satisfy. The audio is not great, and there are no subtitles on the DVD. In brief, I can think of lots of better ways to spend 92 minutes, and so can you.
Director: Uwe Boll
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Natassia Malthe, Lochlyn Munro, Christina Jastrzembska, Natalie Burn and others.
Runtime: 92 min.
Country: Germany / Canada