Tuesday, October 15, 2013

In the name of the king

In the Name of the King is from Uwe Boll. Boll the whipping boy of film fans everywhere continues to make movies despite the fact that people "hate his films", which they go to even though they hate them. Yes I've disliked a number of his films, House of the Dead is one of the worst films ever made; Alone in the Dark is horrible, but plays better if you come in 25 minutes in and can make up what you've missed; and BloodRyne I liked, despite performances that ranged from good to nonexistent because it reminded me of the Italian Fantasy Films of the early 1980's. Boll is back in theaters with one of four films released world wide in 2007. (2007 is a busy year and included his boxing, literally, critics who despised his films-he won)

The plot of the film has something to do with Jason Statham, a farmer going off to take revenge after an evil horde invades his town, kills his son and kidnaps his wife. He travels with Ron Perlman and several other in a quest that leads them into several big battles and to the castle of the evil wizard Ray Liotta.

Watching the film I came to a rather odd conclusion, this is actually a pretty good, if very dense little film.The film looks good. the actors are all pretty much on the same page, the action is nicely staged, and the story is light years better than most of the direct to video films that were spawned by Lord of the Rings. This plays very much like we are in a real place so is unlike the dress up/ Ren Faire we've been getting lately (the Dungeons and Dragons films anyone?) I liked the film enough to look forward to getting it on DVD and the hunkering down and watching it on a rainy Sunday with my brother.

To be certain the film is not perfect. I could see tell at the outset that Boll's means of casting (through lots of money out close to the time they shoot in order to get any actor in need of quick cash to get bigger names then he has a "right" to) was going to be a problem in a few places. First off its going to produce a cast with accents all over the place, Ray Liotta, Jason Stratham, John Rhys-Davies, Leelee Sobieski and Burt Reynolds are all in different places vocally. Its also a problem in that the acting styles clash, with Liotta seemingly out of place and Reynolds, whom I never ever expected to see in a film like this, a bit too knowing.(I won't discuss the hair styles of any of them because that would take too long)

If the film itself has any problems its that its a long dense haul.A great deal happens and is discussed and after a about an hour I did begin to wear down. I'm sure once this hits DVD or cable it will play better where there can be breaks.

Boll is growing as a director. He's made a decent little fantasy. I look forward to seeing this again, and I'll even go see the threatened sequel.

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