01/06/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald
region 2: Arrow Films 1 disk 96 minute film: DVD: B0072HTWQW. Price: £7.99 (UK). Blu-ray B0073VNQB4. Price: £ 5.27 (UK)
check out website: www.arrowfilms.co.uk
Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for Dolph Lundgren because he gets himself into some terrible situations. This movie for example, where it's impossible to escape the stigma of being a bad actor. Lundgren is actually a good actor, an intelligent man with a Masters Degree in chemical engineering, but he's been typecast through the years as an action figure in the movies with very little scope for expression through challenging scripts. Now at the age of 54, he is still doing action man as he has since ‘ Rocky IV’ all these years ago. Still, it must pay the bills!
Directed by Uwe Boll, this is a sort of sequel to an earlier movie of the same name but really there is no more than a tenuous link between them. Dolph plays Granger, an ex-military man with plenty of combat experience. Dragging himself home after a day at work instructing juniors in the art of self defence, he is attacked by unseemly cloaked figures intent on doing him harm. A young attractive woman helps out and then takes him into a vortex through time and space to another world, a fantasy world of kings and dragons. At this point, the movie goes into nosedive.
Not only is the script diabolical, it basically makes no sense. I think, for the sake of being controversial, the good become the bad and vice versa. Right from the start it's easy to see that the king, as played by Lochlyn Munro, is a bit iffy. He's probably one of the worst kings I've ever seen in fantasy movies but on reflection I think he's meant to be taken as a joke. Certainly not menacing, this is more a Monty Python character! Nevertheless, Granger drags himself, as if he had run a marathon a few hours before, into the action and agrees to fight off the enemies, who seem to be plague-infested cannibals. Why? It's because he is the chosen one! Well, somebody's got to do it!
Meeting quirky women along the way, he ends up battling the mutants, falls out with the king and ends up on the other side. He even ventures into the Black Forest, a place where people disappear without trace. Actually, that's nonsense. I've been to the Black Forest where you get very nice clocks and cakes. There's nothing wrong with the place! Eventually, into the proceedings, a dragon appears to create mischief!
There is so little of substance in this movie that any description of action would be a complete spoiler. Low-budget it may be but surely some better props could have been arranged. I mean, the king’s castle was completely pathetic, looking as if it had been made from blue papier-mâché. The dragon was also a prehistoric dinosaur with bits and pieces added on but everything else in general was just so lifeless and insipid. There was no sense or reason to the plot and, coming away from watching, one had the impression that the whole thing was a waste of time. I imagine Dolph Lundgren would have thought the same.
When trying to think redeeming factors, the winter scenery wasn't bad and the whisky that Granger was drinking looked to be a good quality malt. It's no wonder that ‘ In The Name Of The King’ was never released to the cinemas and comes out directly as a DVD and Blu-ray presentation. As a fantasy action adventure, it falls flat on its face. I know it only cost just over $7 million to make but there are lots and lots of movies out there made for significantly less that are far more challenging and interesting. I think the director and the scriptwriter should be given to the dragon. The actors are good enough in themselves but are up against it from the start. They are given no chance! This movie is a damp squib!
Not terribly good or bad, I would say inconsequential best describes ‘ In The Name Of The King’. I wouldn't really want to recommend it to anyone. Could be one for the insomniacs!
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