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In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

This Lord of the Rings wannabe gives fantasy adventures a bad name.


Based on the videogame Dungeon Seige, we enter another otherworldly realm, the Kingdom of Ehb, where an unspeakably evil army called Krugs rampages across what was an idyllic, peaceful world, destroying everything in its path. Controlled by an equally evil wizard named Gallian (Ray Liotta), it looks like the land, ruled by King Konreid (Burt Reynolds), is indeed in trouble. But when Gallian and his Krugs cross paths with simple family man Farmer (Jason Statham), kidnapping his wife (Claire Forlani) and killing his young son (don't worry, you don't see it), Farmer decides to get medieval on their asses. They never knew what hit 'em.


While Statham can turn any action movie into his own personal fight club (i.e. The Transporter, Crank), he is sadly misplaced in Middle Earth, er, In the Name of the King. It's like he simply walked off The Transporter set and into Medieval Times with a simple wardrobe change--and that's about it. Same man of few words. Same Cockney accent. Same kick-ass moves. Not that he isn't still effective with a sword, but we'd rather see him in Armani suits, driving fast cars. What's really surprising is everyone else in the movie. Reynolds as the king to rule them all? Liotta as the big, bad wizard, chewing up scenery and slinging books around like it's no one's business? Kind of embarrassing. There's also Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Farmer's crotchety ally; Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo) as the weak-willed next in line to the throne; and John Rhys-Davies, who takes off the Lord of the Rings dwarf costume and plays a wizard this time. Obviously, they all wanted to be in LOTR and this was the closest thing they could get.


Again with the videogame adaptations--when are they going to learn their lesson? And why on earth do they keep letting director Uwe Boll make these adaptations, such as Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne--and now In the Name of the King? I suppose Boll has his own obsession with Lord of the Rings (or he wants to channel director Peter Jackson), stealing shot after shot from that glorious fantasy-adventure trilogy. The Krugs look like Orcs; Gallian's domain looks like Mordor; female forest warriors are oddly reminiscent of LOTR Elves, and so forth. There's even a shot of the protagonists walking on a mountain range, for heaven's sakes. Nothing about this movie is original. But oddly enough, it's the cinematography that gives In the Name of the King somewhat of a boost. Even if you're bored to tears, there's something to look at.

Bottom Line rated this film 1 1/2 stars.