Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

German Director Uwe Boll is the crown prince of scorn in the movie world, like no other filmmaker in my lifetime. This man is literally hated. He got so fed up with film critics bashing his movies that he challenged a few of them to a boxing match, and though I’ve only seen one of his movies, with ‘In the Name of the King’ being the second, I wouldn’t have minded getting in on some of that action ‘cause Lord knows I love a good scrap. Alas his weight requirements for the battles, between 140-190 pounds (read SICKLY) would have left me out of that mix. Besides, the one movie of his I did see, 2006’s ‘Bloodrayne’, wasn’t nearly as bad as I was led to believe it was. I mean it sucked, but it wasn’t ‘Daddy Day Camp’ bad or anything. But now we have Mr. Boll’s latest video game iteration with ‘In the Name of the King’ in which Uwe has hustled up over sixty million dollars and corralled a bunch of decent actors for his latest masterpiece, and it made nary a lick of difference because this flick was awful on another level of awfulness.

Our rather ambitious film opens with our villain, Gallian (Ray Liotta), in the boudoir of Muriella (Leelee Sobieski). Seeing these two making out was a little odd, maybe because they were in bed with more clothes on than most people wear in the dead of winter, or maybe because LeeLee is twenty-three and Ray is fifty-four. More power to the brother. Muriella is the daughter of Merrick (John Rhys-Davies) who is the mystical shaman to the sovereign king of the land, Konreid (Burt Reynolds?). Gallian is a no good cad using the unsuspecting Muriella for some nefarious means, as well as pairing with the King’s malcontent and duplicitous nephew Duke Fallow (Mathew Liard).

Across town we meet Farmer (Jason Stratham), a strong man of few words, who is, well a farmer playing with his young son Zeph (Colin Ford) and groping in crazy hot wife Solana (Claire Forlani). Farmers adopted father Norick (Ron Perlman) shows up and the two enjoy some witty repartee while the WORST MOVIE SCORE OF ALL TIME plays in the background. Farmer dispatches his wife and child to the market while he, well, farms and without warning these orc type creatures known as kruggs start attacking. Farmer kicks their lousy asses. With a boomerang. But he knows there’s trouble and tries to run to rescue his family who is enjoying lunch with the in-laws, but no dice. Evil Gallian who is controlling a Krug by remote control, finds young Zeph and guts the kid. Not cool, but his krugg henchmen only kidnap his wife. Now it seemed to me that if Farmer would have merely stopped swashbuckling for just a minute he could have saved his child but no, he was having too much fun sword fighting, even performing long, drawn out dramatic death thrust in the process, but I guess we gotta have our priorities.

King Burt shows up, with his guard at arms Commander Tarish (Brian J. White) to comfort the villagers and asks for assistance from the swashbuckling Farmer who tells him to go to hell as Farmer sets about the task of finding his wife. Merrick the Shaman senses something in Farmer, a secret perhaps that will assist in saving the kingdom. This leads to some massively drawn out battle sequences, more AWFUL music, incredibly lame dialog, Ninjas, and an appearance by Boll favorite (and mine too for that matter) Kristanna Loken who grips a vine like few before her ever has. Cue bad music.

About the time King Burt, in the middle of one these epic battle sequences yelled, ‘Call in the Ninjas’, I was done. Ninjas Uwe? Freaking Ninjas? I mean I love Ninjas as much as anybody (Shinobi anybody?), but I’m not sure that in a medieval setting such as is this that we should be witnessing flipping, sword wielding Ninja’s. Ninjas! Also in golf there’s the term ‘Think long, think wrong.’ At 127 minutes this flick was a good forty five minutes too long and thus forty five minutes too wrong. Come on Uwe, I know you blew sixty mil, but think about ME for a change because there’s all kinds of worthless filler you could have left on the cutting room floor that would have gotten me home sooner. Then there was the score. At first I though there was something wrong the print audio and kept looking back towards the projectionist to fix it, but apparently it was supposed to sound like cats being tortured. Worst movie score ever, and it was obtrusive. You should almost never be aware of the score in a film, but the score in this flick yelled ‘LISTEN TO HOW AWFUL I AM’, over and over again.

"I can feel him inside of you" is one of the many classic lines of terrible dialog in this film, this particular line whispered by Liotta to Fornlani in reference to he knowing about her husband the farmer. You might have asked for a re-write on that one Ray. Of course the casting of Ray Liotta as a medieval sorcerer is suspect anyway, but no less so than my man Burt Reynolds essentially playing King Arthur. A slick porn producer? That’s Burt. A Medieval King? Not so much. I gotta hand it to Brian J. White though who comes through this fairly unscathed. He was damn good as the King’s guard, even affecting a British accent and also managed to maintain it throughout the entire film. No one else tried a British accent though, so one could wonder why he had one, but nonetheless he did fine work in a thankless role.

The score was awful, the dialog was worse, the performances were suspect at best, the direction was lazy, the editing was choppy and the movie was too long. However the special effects in some parts were good and Kristanna Loken is one large healthy strong fine looking woman. At six feet even with a size 12 shoe, that’s a woman, with the right man, who could birth some quality babies. Does that have anything to do with this movie? Of course it doesn’t.

Ninjas. The movie had freaking Ninjas in it.

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