Saturday, January 12, 2013

This Month In... 2008: "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale"

Uwe Boll?
Another Video Game Movie
    In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is a 2008 film directed by the infamous Uwe Boll, who is considered one of the worst directors ever, by everyone who isn't named Uwe Boll. ITNOTK is based on the video game (Uwe Boll does a lot of these) Dungeon Siege and is his biggest budgeted release, reportedly costing $60 million dollars to make. The film however, is one of the biggest bombs of all time, grossing only $13 million dollars. It's easy to see why. The film follows Farmer (Jason Statham), whose wife (Claire Forlani), best friend (Ron Perlman) and brother-in-law (Will Sanderson) are captured by the evil Gallian (Ray Liotta) and Duke (Matthew Lillard), as he joins King Konreid's (Burt Reynolds!) army in an attempt to rescue his family.
60 Million Dollars Wasted
    I really hope that this movie did not cost $60 million dollars to make. If it did I'm sure Boll must have pocketed the money. The film look so astoundingly cheap that I was amazed I wasn't watching a direct-to-DVD release. The costumes look to be about the only expensive looking thing in the film. The CGI is all PS2-level quality, which even though this is a video game adaptation, I don't think was supposed to look this bad. The big budget does seemed to have kept Boll from recycling shots from his other films, a common trait of his, however it hasn't stopped him from using the same locations over and over again and hoping no one will notice. The map of the kingdom seems to be just one big circle, as the characters all end up in the same place several times, which isn't only cheap, it's also very confusing.
He's a mean one, Mr. Grinch...
Wow, Matthew Lillard...
    The acting is uniformly terrible. Even big names like Statham and Perlman are clearly only here to collect a paycheck and barely care about the movie itself. That goes especially for Perlman, who has a few big scenes in the first hour of the film, before being unceremoniously killed off and never mentioned again halfway through the film. (I'd say "Spoiler Alert", but who really cares). Liotta is hilariously over the top as the villain, chewing so much scenery that it's no wonder the film looks as cheap as it does. But that's nothing compared to Lillard, who gives one of the single worst performances I have ever seen in a film. Ever. He's all over the place here, doing goofy slapstick one scene and shouting a rant in the next scene like a drunk wrestler. Surprisingly, Reynolds does the best as the King, well aware that he's above this film. That's right. Burt Reynolds is above this movie.
Uwe Boll Does it Again
    There's a reason Uwe Boll is considered to be one of the worst film director's ever. It's because he's one of the worst movie director's ever. He does such a terrible job with ITNOTK that it's no wonder he hasn't gotten a big budgeted release since. The whole film just feels kinda lazy and shoddy. Uwe Boll has essentially made the IKEA furniture of movies. It's confusing to figure out, looks cheap and ugly and you never feel quite safe sitting on it. You feel like at any moment the film's about to cave in on itself. However, the film never does have that moment of complete collapse, though it does creak and crack quite a bit throughout it's mercilessly dull 2 hours run time. Thanks to Boll's direction, you never quite know what's going on in the story, where the characters are in relation to one another or why you should care.
    Take for instance the climax of the film. As the King's army battles Gallion's Orc (?) army, Farmer goes to face off against Gallion himself. It's made clear (I think) that the army is battling fairly close to Gallion's stronghold, which is where Farmer is. However, Farmer's scenes are set during the day, while the armies are fighting in the middle of the night, leaving me thinking that either Farmer and the armies are in two separate time zones, or that Uwe Boll is a terrible director who thought a night battle would look totes cool. It also doesn't help that Boll feels the need to put an incredibly overbearing soundtrack over the entire film. In every singular scene in the 2 hour film, a loud, obnoxious orchestra blurts out "epic" music. Which is fine in the battle scenes. In the dinner scenes... not so much.
I don't think that's what Teddy Roosevelt meant...
The Verdict
    With In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Uwe Boll thankfully makes sure he's never given a big budget fairly again. He is an awful director and it shows here. Boll wastes his big budget and good cast with terrible production values and a god-awful script. The film look cheap and shoddy, with terrible acting and editing that makes music videos look cohesive. And so much of the movie is covered by an annoying soundtrack, that it pretty much is a music video. A 2 hours long, boring, stupid and horrible music video. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale gets a star and a half out of 6. Next time, grab your camera, things are about to get shaky.

1 comment:

  1. Although I agree with nearly everything said here, I'm currently on my couch watching this horrible movie... I will say that the scenes where the armies are fighting at "night" and Farmer is traveling during the day was actually explained... Lillard sent an unnatural storm towards the king's army which is why they were fighting in darkness...