Video Game Adaptations: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (Director’s Cut)
God damn it. The monkey is right about this. It clearly, clearly sucks cock. In fact, it sucks cock for so long and with such dedication that it might as well be trying for an award for fellatio. I don’t know where I got the delusion that In the Name of the King was remotely acceptable from (that’s a bit of a lie, actually, I do know and I’ll come to it in a moment), but this is 2 hours and 35 minutes of
fun and games of utter mind-numbing tedium. I seem to remember the monkey making some joke about being mugged by boredom and well, he’s completely correct. This is a boring film. In fact, In the Name of the King is so boring it’s like being clobbered over the head by a giant Excel manual. Pah.
I almost cannot be bothered to do this, but here we go: In the Name of the King (I’m pig sick of typing this every time, so it shall henceforth be known as “Clagnuts”) takes place in the kingdom of Ehb. Ehb is ruled by Burt Reynolds’ King and his next in line is his drunken nephew Duke Fallow (Matthew Lillard). Ray Liotta plays Gallian. Gallian is an evil wizard and seems to be a bit cross with John Rhys-Davis’ good mage Merick. So cross, in fact, that he’s porking Merick’s daughter Muriella (Leelee Sobieski). There is a poorly conceived magical reason for this as well, but bear with me for a moment. In the meantime Jason Statham’s
Ninja Accountant farmer called “Farmer” is pulling up turnips and putting up with a gurning Norick (Ron Perlman) in some sort of rural idyll with his wife (Claire Forlani). Ehb must be a bloody literal-minded place. I bet that lawyers are called “Lawyer”, doctors known as “Doctor”, and politicians dubbed “Cunt”. Digression aside, the Orcs Krug are invading and it’s all a dastardly plan to put Fallow on the throne. The film then drags on and fucking on hitting every single predictable note along the way before the Stath fights Liotta, takes the throne (he’s really the King’s son) and BLAH FUCKING BLAH.
Who gives a fuck? This is dreadful brain-melting trash. It’s Uwe Boll’s desperate attempt to turn in a Lord of the Rings style epic, even down to plagiarised aerial shots, but the whole film is just an exercise in tedium. The problem is that there are several “natural” endings to it, and Boll doesn’t know which one he wants so it just drags on and fucking on. There is just so much extraneous shite thrown at the screen (Kristanna Lokken appears as an elf, and even if she is much more fetching than prime nobhead Orlando Bloom, it’s a completely redundant character that adds less than fuck all to the film). Boll and the writer literally just don’t know when to stop with it, and the multiple battles become just agony to watch- principally because they’re all the fucking same- a fight in the woods.
Secondly, this is a chronically and abysmally stupid film. And not in an entertaining way either. For example, Liotta is porking Gimli’s daughter because that “gives him access to the bloodline” and, ergo, weakens Gimli significantly. Except this is mentioned and it seems to make sweet FA difference. Then, later in the film, Gimli declares that the power of the magi is rooted in their service to the King. Liotta, however, is loaded with power because he cut out the middle man and declared himself king of the Krug (Why the fuck aren’t they called Orcs? By the way? Why? Why is this film so cuntish?). Therefore, he’s King and Mage and in theory all-powerful. Now if I was an all-powerful wizard king, then I have to say that I wouldn’t get in a FUCKING SWORDFIGHT with a non-magical Stath. He does come to this conclusion himself, but by then it’s far too late.
Look at that fucking cast though! Seriously, what the fuck are they doing in this garbage? Lokken, to be fair, has form in Boll films, but the rest of them are (for the most part) hilariously miscast and completely above the material. Would you really cast Ray Liotta as a wizard? Or the Stath as a farmer? Lillard in particular knows this is a shambles, and I’m almost convinced that he actually was pissed on set. Perlman doesn’t give a fuck and the female actors are uniformly bored. The big sinner, though, is Reynolds who puts in one of the shittiest, most obviously phoned in, couldn’t give a fuck performances ever filmed. His death scene in particular is excruciating. Liotta, to be fair, is actually kind of entertaining- but he usually is when he plays a nutter.
I can’t be fucked to carry on with this review, so I’m just going to explain the moment in the film that earns it its solitary half a chang. Clagnuts is a diabolically boring film, enlivened in one scene: The first battle against the Krug. The battle rages back and forth, there’s some good swordfighting and a few necks are separated from heads. It’s getting a bit monotonous so Boll plays his trump card: The Krug break out catapults. Then, they fire rocks at the human opposition. Soon enough, they run out of rocks so start firing themselves with inevitably hilarious consequences. However, they’re not done, so they keep hopping on to the catapult, then SETTING THEMSELVES ON FIRE before being launched at the enemy. FLAMING ORC CATAPULTS FTW!!!
Sadly, it’s not enough to make this a remotely acceptable film, and I can’t possibly recommend this piece of shit that runs at 155 fucking painful minutes for one 5 minute sequence, no matter how amusing. If the rest of this film was at this level of dumbness then it would actually be entertaining, but that isn’t the case. Clagnuts is a fucking awful experience and not one that I recommend that anyone watches. In fact, watching this makes it apparent that it is a dungeon siege tale- if you were stuck in the slammer during a lengthy siege and someone was telling this tale, then I’d genuinely believe that it was an attempt to induce despair and suicide in a particularly sneaky bit of psychological warfare.
Overall, this is complete and utter shit. It’s boring, pointless, never-fucking ending crap. One moment of hilarity in the better part of three hours does not an acceptable movie make. Not even when there’s the odd hilariously awful performance as well. I realise I haven’t talked about it as a video game adaptation, and that’s because there’s no fucking point: it isn’t. What it is, is Boll’s attempt at a sword and sorcery epic, something he’s clearly not the right man for. Although I do concede that we’re yet to work out what he is the right man for. Basically, don’t fucking bother. I wish I hadn’t.
Until next time,