Friday, 23 October 2009

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007)

Director: Uwe Boll

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale or ITNOTK:ADST as I like to refer to it (saves time) is based on a video game, a cut-and-slash RPG that I have not played, and it feels like a two hour collection of interstitial cine-scenes from the video game. So, you feel impatient watching it, like you want to press ‘Skip’ on the controller and start playing, but oh wait, this is not a game, it’s a movie, so that’s both impatience and frustration you will feel watching it. Then Matthew Lillard swings onto the screen like a big leg of ham, spitting all over the scenery as the cowardly Duke Fallow, and then you can add murderous to the feelings stirred inside of you while watching ITNOTK. The film was directed by Uwe Boll who has developed a great reputation as a master of shit-films, which are mostly based on video games. ITNOTK also feels like it was based on the Lord Of The Rings films as every second scene strikes a familiar note to Peter Jackson’s trilogy, but just shot in Vancouver instead of New Zealand, and the CGI is really shit-house, and the armour everyone wears looks plastic. Boll even goes so far as to poach John Rhys-Davies who goes from playing Gimley to playing the Gandalf/Obi Wan of this film, sounding like Sean Connery and looking like he’s wearing a fan-made Darth Vader costume sans mask. ITNOTK makes the recent Star Wars trilogy look like it’s overflowing with sophisticated special effects and intriguing plotting by comparison.

So, yeah, the picture starts off with no exposition, just some scenes of Ray Liotta and Leelee Sobieski sucking face intercut with sweeping shots of the Magic Kingdom that they all live in. Moving on we find Jason Statham ploughing turnips, farming with his son on the farm and then we find out his name is Farmer, which is brilliant. Statham also has a CGI boomerang in a holster that he uses to scare away pesky crows, which he will use later to smite his enemies. Then Ron Perlman shows up and says, “Hey.” Hey, Ron Perlman. Then we cut back to the Kingdom with a bored-looking Burt Reynolds sitting listlessly on a throne, like he’s in a dinner theatre production of King Lear, and then he says one of the film’s best lines, “This is some sort of... sorcery.” You said it, Smokey and the Bandit. Then we cut back to Statham alone in a field, looking menacingly over his shoulder with a trademark glare (basically earning his pay cheque), before some rubbery-looking mud-face monsters jump out of the woods, making the creatures in 1970s era Dr. Who look super scary in comparison; it’s Troll 2 quality basically. The mud-faces are called Krug or Krum or Krud or something like that as it is difficult to tell with all these actors mumbling their lines all the time amidst the overbearing Wagnerian score. These Krud-faces attack Statham’s village, kill his son and kidnap his wife, Claire Forlani, who is costumed in a Victoria Secret’s corset that proves cleavage was an inescapable part of life back in Middle Earth.

Now Ray Liotta is controlling these Krud monsters from a shadowy, smoky room where his eyes go blue and with his Liberace-styled wardrobe he resembles nothing more than a Las Vegas Magician (whoops, sorry, not magician, it’s Magii!). Then LILLARD stinks up a few more scenes, acting like a petulant member of Entourage, and he really should have been wearing a Court Jester’s hat with all his useless manic energy. You really want to see an axe thrown into his face but unfortunately that never happens (in fact, his fate is left a mystery by the end, which is annoying – a character this irritating requires a death scene!). Then we have Statham, Perlman and some blonde-haired Legolas dude hiking together from Stonebridge to Woodtree or wherever and they meet some wood nymph babes who dangle from vines like they are from Cirque de Soleil. Then Ray Liotta poisoned the sliced fruit that Burt Reynolds the King and Matthew Lillard the Stooge were eating, but he gives Lillard the antidote because they are in cahoots. Then there is a super long battle sequence in the woods where some ninjas jump out of nowhere and the Krud bust out of the ground like zombies. Statham runs through another scene like it is Crank: The Middle Ages (this time he has a ticking wooden clock for a heart!), jumping on the shoulders of bad guys, hanging off the side of horses and killing everything he can with the same pissed-off glare. Oh yeah, and Lillard sits on a horse surveying the battle and turns to an underling next to him:

Lillard: “They fight like dogs.”
Extra: [pause, unsure] “Uh... yes, sir.”

More shots of Ray Liotta with his trademark cackle in his Criss Angel room. By this point, you might think the film is ending, but no, only an hour has passed and there’s still another hour of this shit to go, even though it feels like two and a half hours have passed already. Then Liotta says this line, which feels as if it is addressing the audience of ITNOTK, “You’ve lost nothing but time.” Should I also mention that all his dialogue is delivered in a Joe Pesci accent, one of those wizards who emerged from Brooklyn even though it wasn’t even around in this alternative time period of the past? Then we find out Statham is actually the King’s son and he hangs out with Burt Reynolds on his death bed as Burt Reynolds tells him some stuff about farming and seafood. Melodramatic music, a close-up of a horrified look on Statham’s face and then cut to Reynolds looking like he fell asleep on set (oh, the pathos!). The King is dead. Long live our cockney geezer replacement! “Pity,” says Statham, or he should have said as this is what I think his action-hero catch-phrase should be after hearing him say it once in Death Race.

As King, Statham’s first order of duty is to run through the woods again, conscript Sobieski to help (she’s turned into a Joan of Arc again with some sexy armour and some magic powers) and Kirstina Lokken (the leader of the forest babes), and they walk up some snowy mountains just like in Lord of the Rings. Then Liotta and Rhys-Davies have a wizard duel in a tall tower just like in Lord of the Rings. Rhys-Davies bites the dust but downloads his magic into Sobieski and Statham follows Liotta to his magic study and they have a long duel with lots of Matrix Slow-Motion Moves while another army fights more Kruds in the darkness of the rain that Liotta has conjured. Then we have some Harry Potter shit with flying books attacking Statham and then Clare Forlani remembers she is in this piece of shit film, stabs Liotta in the back, but then Statham stabs him again because no woman is going to have the Final Death-Blow in this epic. The Krud are no longer under evil mind control and they wander off in a day that will be remembered for the day when Human Beings and Mud-Faced Krud People were united in solidarity. Statham and Forlani embrace – did I forget to mention she’s pregnant, so don’t worry about their son who died, the circle of life continues – and as they kiss, I wish Statham had winked to the camera, like ‘Ha ha, what a fucking joke this was, eh?’ But no, the credit ‘Director by Uwe Boll’ pops up and then we hears some medieval metal from Hammerfall rocking out over the end credits, which is maybe the best part of this whole film.


Oz said...

I have a Dungeon Siege t-shirt

Adam said...

I'm pretty sure that reading your bullshit reviews is actually better than watching these films, but that doesn't stop me from wanting to watch them... Then I think "Wait a second, Tristan wasted two hours of his life to tell me how bad this film is, why should I?" And then I feel like I should out of courtesy to the sacrifice you've made for all of us. Then I feel confused.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

also, it is pretty hilarious that when you do a google search for uwe boll, this picture is one of the first things that comes up:

and, it turns out that uwe has FOUR films in the rotten tomatoes worst of the worst list of the worst films from 2000 to 2009. who's up for an uwe boll bullshit double feature of 'bloodrayne' and 'alone in the dark'?

s said...

oh man the thought of "Ray Liotta and Leelee Sobieski sucking face" is way too disturbing

tristan said...

Oz: Awes! What is Dungeon Siege anyway? There isn't really a dungeon siege in the film. Is that part of the game?

Adam: Ah, the link didn't work. Is that the one where he is sticking a middle finger up to the camera? Yes, I would be down for a double of Bloodrayne and Alone in the Dark (Dan, where are you?). The only other film I've seen of Boll's was House of the Dead, which was SHIT. Haha, and no, you shouldn't waste your life. I don't expect that of anyone with these reviews!

S: Not the best way to open the movie, particularly with this awkward ambigious dialogue...

[first lines]
Muriella (Leelee Sobieski): I knew you'd come.
Gallian (Ray Liotta): I told you I would.
Muriella: I mean, I felt it. I felt it before you came.
Gallian: You are developing your powers well, Muriella. Our time together is paying off!

Mitch said...

That picture of Uwe Boll is indicative of the respect he shows for his audiences. ITNOTK: ADST is like spending 2 hours staring at Uwe Boll while he waves his shit-encrusted middle finger in front of your face.

I don't think I like Uwe Boll.