There’s no way around it, In the Name of the King 2 is a bad movie. No, it’s not so bad it’s good and I’m not sure even the MST3K crew could mock it for the full 90-minutes without giving up. Uwe Boll just might be our generation’s Ed Wood. He continually and somehow gets a modest budget; a half-decent cast (this one excluded), gets his hands on some video game franchise and yet still manages to muck it all up.
Genre(s): Action, Fantasy
Fox | R – 96 min. – $29.99 | December 27, 2011
Directed by: Uwe Boll
Writer(s): Michael C. Nachoff (written by)
Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Natassia Malthe, Lochlyn Munro
Features: 2 Feature Commentaries, 2 Featurettes
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Disc Size: 21.4 GB
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
“Screw you, Uwe. SCREW YOU!”
I said something a tad shrewder when Uwe Boll’s latest turkey, In the Name of the King: Two Worlds, ended. I then pondered how in the world he continues to get funding for these projects. While the major studios have taken note and no longer unleash his films into theaters thus relegating Boll to the home video market, I can’t imagine how anybody would fork over millions knowing the outcome would be complete and utter crap. One could argue it’s just a nice tax write-off but I think something more incendiary is going on and that perhaps blackmail is involved. I have no proof but with each new Uwe Boll “movie”, the evidence begins to mount.
Anyway, this sequel with none of the actors from the original daring to return, finds Dolph Lundgren filling in the shoes of Expendables co-star Jason Statham. Lundgren stars as Granger, an ex-Special Forces soldier who spends his days training kids in martial arts, coming home and taking a drink from his stash of alcohol and providing character background by talking to himself. He’s about to take a soak in the tub when mercifully a bunch of cloaked men storm in and his soldier instincts take over as he kicks their ass, gets his gun and shoots one of them. Amongst the cloaked people is a sorceress who opens a time portal and takes him through with her.
Granger has apparently been transported to some point in the past – the filmmakers’ didn’t bother telling us why – and he’s taken by a group of men to see The King aka Raven (LOCHLYN MUNRO) who has an important mission for him that the prophecy has foretold. The mission is to journey to the Holy Mother and kill her before… something or other. Apparently the Holy Mother leads the Dark One’s who are the King’s archenemies and are a danger to his people. Of course something else is afoot but does it really matter? There are just more inane plot points making little sense before a laughable ending.
The problem with In the Name of the King 2, like with most of Boll’s other films, is he hasn’t a clue how to direct anything compelling and he absolutely cannot bring out even decent performances from good actors, so when you throw Dolph Lundgren into the mix, you know what you’re up against before the movie even starts. Heck, I knew I was in for a ride (on a runaway train) when early on Lundgren tried his hand at serious drama as he talks to a picture of his old comrades before taking a drink (I have to think it was real alcohol…).
As far as the supporting cast goes, Natassia Malthe makes her third appearance in an Uwe Boll film, following the two BloodRayne sequels. I can’t say much about Ms. Malthe’s performance since she really doesn’t have a whole lot to do thanks to a vastly underwritten character. She’s supposed to be the tough love interest for Lundgren and despite getting a few scenes together, neither develops much chemistry with the other; they just seem like two people reciting lines. Everyone else is pretty much forgettable including Lochlyn Munro as the king who, shocking spoiler, is the bad guy of the film. He comes across as goofy rather than threatening, not a good trait for somebody going up against Lundgren.
Another issue I had is with the screenplay. Aside from the atrocious dialogue, not helped by Lundgren’s stilted performance, is the plot. So you have a character taken from this world to the past because of some convenient prophecy and after running around and finding out the real truth, also discover that our world is in jeopardy because… I’m not quite sure. Even if the explanation why our world is in danger is half baked, the execution of that plot point is at best lazy that results in a lame ass fight and an abrupt (thankfully) ending that will infuriate viewers only because it’s leaves a third entry into this godforsaken “franchise”.
At the end of the day, In the Name of the King 2 is par for the course from Uwe Boll. It’s not so bad it’s good, instead it’s plain bad. Making matters worse is that you have someone like Boll giving direction to an actor like Dolph Lundgren resulting in terrible and even perplexing scenes. No doubt this won’t be the last time I’ll see a Boll flick but I only hope it won’t be for another few years.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
Two Feature Commentaries – Why is it some of my favorite movies can’t get ONE commentary and yet this drivel gets TWO?!?! Anyway, the first track is with the humbled Director Uwe Boll while the second is with Writer Michael C. Nachoff. Having listened to Boll’s other commentaries I knew what to expect as he provides details on making the film and other intricacies. I will give Boll this: he rarely is at a loss for words (and even – supposedly – takes a phone call in the middle).
The second track with Nachoff focuses on the screenwriting aspects and I actually found this to be interesting for a solo track. Nachoff keeps things rolling along at a brisk pace.
Behind the Scenes of In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (6:27; HD) – If you didn’t get enough of Boll in the commentary, you get some more in this short featurette which just provides some footage while they filmed intermixed with cast/crew interviews trying convince themselves they’re making a quality picture.
From Page to Screen: Writing In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (5:05; SD) is an interview with screenwriter Michael Nachoff talking about writing the script and what he wanted to bring to the table.
Previews – There Be Dragons, Another Earth, 13
VIDEO – 4.0/5
In the Name of the King 2 basically looks like many of the other Fox direct-to-video releases: clean as a whistle. The movie is presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and 1080p transfer that, for the most part, looks fine though because it was film digitally; it’s missing that film-like quality. As it stands, it’s a good looking transfer that will satisfy most; unfortunately the same cannot be said about the movie.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The disc comes with a standard DTS-HD Master Audio track which offers a half-decent and dynamic experience though it’s nothing special. There are quite a few fight scenes, during which the track has the most depth but even then it’s not entirely impressive. During the quieter, more dialogue-driven scenes, everything is crisp and clear with the ability to hear ambient noises or chatter coming through the rear channels.
OVERALL – 2.0/5
There’s no way around it, In the Name of the King 2 is a bad movie. No, it’s not so bad it’s good and I’m not sure even the MST3K crew could mock it for the full 90-minutes without giving up. Uwe Boll just might be our generation’s Ed Wood. He continually and somehow gets a modest budget; a half-decent cast (this one excluded), gets his hands on some video game franchise and yet still manages to muck it all up. I’ve kind of given up on why Boll is still around and merely resigned myself in the knowledge he’s here to stay thanks to a legion of fans that prop up an ego even Donald Trump would be disgusted by.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2.