Sunday, October 21, 2007

IN THE NAME OF THE KING: A DUNGEON SIEGE TALE review


LOOK OUT! Uwe Boll is back! Whether that's a bad thing or a terrible thing is up to debate. However, he not going away anytime soon, considering he has 3 other films coming out this year! (BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE, SEED, and POSTAL) His latest is an 'epic' fantasy with an 'all-star' cast including Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Claire Forlani, John Rhys-Davies, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, Matthew Lillard, AND Burt Reynolds as The King! Seriously... is it gambling debts or a stack of incriminating photos that compelled all these actors into this river wild of career suicide?!?

Statham leads the way as Farmer, a farmer(?) with an adoring wife (Forlani) and a plucky young son living a simple, unassuming life. Ray Liotta is a sorcerous mofo who spends his time seducing Leelee Sobieski and teaching orcs (I mean Krugs) to wear armour and fight with swords. The land is in peril, there's a traitor in the King's court, and Farmer is dragged into the conflict after the death of his son and the kidnapping of his wife. Gee, do you think Farmer is meant for something greater than his fields?

Surprisingly this is not a total disaster. Sure, it's too long (and Boll has a longer cut up his sleeve), it's a very familiar and sub-standard fantasy world at best, and the script is atrocious and laugh out loud funny.

On the positive side, the script is atrocious and laugh out loud funny! Stand outs in this department come courteously of the outrageous over-acting of Burt Reynolds, who discusses the benefits of seaweed in farm irrigation, and Matthew Lillard, whose every line is comedy gold!
The battle scenes are competent, if not terribly exciting. And hey, let's throw in a troupe of ninjas and few woodland faeries rejected from the Cirque du Soleil while we're at it.

Thankfully I saw this with a crowd at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, who understood full well what we were in store for, and could actually enjoy it as we laughed and commiserated with each other. Dr. Boll himself was on hand for a Q&A, which included him bad mouthing Ray Liotta, and telling us how Jason Statham thinks the film is 20 minutes too long.