(2007) dir. Uwe Boll
There are bad movies, and there are bad movies. Actually, there are all kinds of bad movies. The ones that develop camp following are usually of an older generation. But the film gods have delivered the new king of bad movies, Uwe Boll. Not only is he consistently bad, but he’s prolific. His movies aren’t just bad in enjoyable ways, but they are bad in their timing, editing, and production.
The weird thing is that because old bad movies were often low-budget affairs, Uwe Boll’s movies don’t look on the cheap, per se. There were probably a lot of talented folks that worked on the set, doing design and camera work. But it is bad, highly bad. It sucks.
Boll is kind of fascinating. Over the past five or so years, he’s developed a reputation. That is how I heard of him myself. Lots of critics took an ironic liking to the man that was christened “the new Ed Wood”. As I have said before, I think that is lacking. He’s no Ed Wood. Ed Wood’s badness and amateurishness were utterly campy to the point of hilarity and wound up cultishly iconic. Boll’s films are not laugh-fests. They are just bad.
Take In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, or rather don’t take it. But the title alone is garbage. Based on the Dungeon Siege video game series (with which I am totally unfamiliar), the suffix of the title suggests a marketing notation to the fans of the game who might not realize that their video experience had made it to celluloid, and also, most frighteningly, that it could turn into a series. I’ve had this dislike for film series who feel that they have to overdo the verbage in their film titles. This would have been a much better title without the suffix. Don’t you agree?
The movie is a stockpile of Z-list actors including the campiest Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Burt fucking Reynolds as the king, Matthew Lillard (who I absolutely despise), Ron Perlman (not getting enough money for Hellboy 2?), and Jason Stratham who certainly is the most marketable of these folks.
There are these tree/forest dwelling folks who are straight out of Cirque du Soleil. There is this “race” of humanoid beasts called Krugs who are absolutely lame-ass rip-offs of orcs. The action is poorly filmed. The whole thing is just plain stupid.
Lillard plays the nephew of Reynolds, the king. And it cooperation with Ray Liotta, a mage of some sort, plans to take over by killing his uncle. Only it turns out (spoiler alert) that Statham is really the king’s long lost son. And there’s a lot of fighting.
Personally, I didn’t enjoy this film at all. My favorite of Boll’s films is actually Alone in the Dark (2005) which starred Christian Slater and Tara Reid. That film had some seriously sucky charm. This one is bloated and tedious. Liotta is the only thing funny enough to enjoy. Though looking at Burt Reynolds with this white Caesar-style hairpiece…that’s pretty funny too.