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DVD Review

DVD cover

In the Name of the King
A Dungeon Siege Tale


Starring: Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, Matthew Lillard, John Rhys-Davies, Claire Forlani, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 23 June 2008

A simple farmer is forced to take up arms after evil tyrant Gallian unleashes a bloodthirsty army that ravages his village and ensnares his family. As the marauding forces begin to overrun the country in an effort to crush the noble King Konreid, the once peace-loving farmer is forced to rise and fight for all he loves and lives for. With a band of skilled and trusted warriors, he embarks on a journey into uncharted territory on a perilous rescue mission to destroy Gallian's brutal reign of terror once and for all...

Well no surprises here. This is another Uwe Boll movie that is unwatchable pap. Is he attempting to take over the reigns from Ed Wood? How does the guy get work? He's got a great cast for In the Name of the King, and yet he still manages to turn out one of the worst films I've ever seen.

By far and away the biggest problem is the fact that Boll doesn't actually have a clue how a movie should be constructed. Did the guy have any formal training? I only ask because he crosses the line of action constantly - and not in that intentional, boundary breaking way that some directors do. The end result is that several of the scenes fall apart making no sense at all.

This usually happens during the battle scenes where we have, for example, the good guys are on the right of the screen and the Krugs on the left. There's no problem when the good guys run from right to left and the Krugs charge from left to right of the screen, but when Boll unfathomably has scenes where each side can be seen running one way and then the other it looks like they are constantly running towards and then away from the action.

The best (or worst) example is when the Krugs are running away. The good guys are look to the left and say: "They're retreating." The very next shot shows the Krugs running from the left of the screen to the right (i.e. apparently towards the good guys). What they should be doing is running from right to left away from the gaze of the good guys. I mean, come on, this is basic filmmaking practice. And then there's the scene where Bastian and Norrick break out of the Krug prison and start attacking the Krug... Only here ere the editing makes it appear that Bastian and Norrick are actually fighting one another. So, if you're not paying close attention, you could be forgiven for thinking that Bastian stabs Norrick.

But there are numerous examples of this. Even to the point of showing a Krug in a catapult being catapulted from left to right and then from right to left. It's quite sad really.

The movie's really a kid's film, but it's way too long and dull to keep anyone glued to the screen for the duration. A good thirty minutes could have easily been cut from the finished production. And there's nothing here we haven't seen a million times before - from Lord of the Rings, to Eragon, to Star Wars.

Every single actor, with the exception of Burt Reynolds, turns in a uniformly naff performance. Now, we know that all of these actors have acting muscle, so again the fault lies with poor direction.

Extras include an audio commentary with the director (which I refused to listen to - I think I gave up enough of my time watching the movie through once without having to listen to the director waffling on); Making of Featurette (18 min, 24 sec behind the scenes); Behind the Scenes Montage (10 min, 16 sec footage from someone's home video); Deleted and Extended Scenes (3 min, 06 sec); and Theatrical Trailer.

I was also left wondering if the studio were also embarrassed by this release. For some reason their detail have been left off the press release.

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is an absolute pig of a movie. Avoid at all costs. Boll either needs do take a course in basic filmmaking, or retire from the industry and do something he's good at.


Darren Rea

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