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Medieval Torture: CGI leads In the Name of the King astray 

Welcome to CGI hell. Save yourself the pain, go rent Excalibur.Good lord. The Transporter goes medieval...kinda. This movie is such a pile of horse manure

Welcome to CGI hell. Save yourself the pain, go rent Excalibur.Good lord. The Transporter goes medieval...kinda. This movie is such a pile of horse manure I hardly know where to start. I thought I could give it a semi-pass because kids would like it, but I think kids will feel ripped off. They're too smart for this junk, being exposed to the high-tech CGI world of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. This film is based on a video game of the same name, but it's so defiantly low-budget it falls somewhere below a Robin Hood after-school TV special.

The nutshell description involves Farmer (Jason Statham), a simple man whose wife (Claire Forlani) is kidnapped by ravaging and pillaging "Krugs" (ultra-crummy Lord of the Rings monsters) and his quest to retrieve her. There's an evil Sorcerer, Gallian (Ray Liotta), who commands the army of Krugs, an aging king (Burt Reynolds) whose wisdom is beyond comparison, a wimpy-spoiled-brat heir to the throne (Matthew Lillard) with a traitorous agenda, a good sorcerer (John-Rhys Davies) who wants to make things right, and his daughter (Leelee Sobieski) who stares blankly at any and everything.

The rest of the movie is just about as dang ludicrous as it is painful to watch. The movie opens with Liotta and Sobieski making out, the veins on Liotta's checks demonically pulsating and throbbing. Seeing them kiss was revolting, and an omen of things to come.

The battle scenes were inadequately staged and supremely lame. There was no blood except for a trickle, an obvious "why bother" approach. The 'Krugs" were poorly lit and hard to visualize. They resembled shadowy trick-or-treating Mutant Ninja Turtles. The editing of the entire movie was mistake riddled. During a battle scene, I swear I saw a monster sans the CGI treatment in a safari hat and green tee shirt. And at one point, inexplicably, real NINJAS appear on the good team and fight. Why? I haven't the foggiest. Some tree-nymphs with cleavage show up along the way and helped, yet not long enough. BUT the most annoying thing of all was the music...YE GADS! It was louder than the fight scenes. The earsplitting strings overpowered the clash of swords, the trumpets bleated over the hollering of the combatants.

Everyone in this film looked like they were having a bad time, especially Jason Statham. I like him, particularly in movies where he actually has dialogue. He excels in fun/action movies, which makes sense because he fights well and has a sense of humor. Stoic sword and sorcery is not his forte. He should stick to punching Jet Li. Burt Reynolds either smirks or grimaces his way through his role, I can't tell which. It's hard to read anything on Burt's face today with all his facelifts and hair-hats. Then there's Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo) unnecessarily overacting. Ron Pearlman (Hellboy) shows up in an atrocious hairdo in the "nice guy-that-you-know-I-will-die-soon" role. Pointless. John Rhys-Davies must do this grade-Z movie stuff in his sleep. His bad wig and extra make-up can't distract from the medieval gibberish that spews from his character's mouth. Leelee Sobieski is so HORRENDOUS in this movie that she looks perplexed that she is even acting. Even the Joan of Arc leather harness outfit they make her wear doesn't help...

But the real mind-boggling atrocity is Ray Liotta - what was he thinking? Surrounded by swirling magic clouds, he hams it up in such an implausible way that I just sat there, mouth hanging open. In a perfectly coiffed hair-style bordering on John Travolta's in Saturday Night Fever, Liotta talks kinda lispy, eyes bugging out, prancing around in a drag-queen smoking robe and ascot while cackling. During the second half he dons a leather jacket resembling one of the Backstreet Boys pretending to be Shaft. Preposterous. When he floats down ala The Matrix for the big finale (the ridiculous "tornado of books" scene) it is appallingly humorous. This leads to the "you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me" cheesy ending.

I watched the credits for future avoidance, and all blame must go to director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead). For as I endured the list of names the music got even WORSE!! Crappy minstrel-rock by Blind Guardian and then pseudo heavy metal by Hammerfall pounded the last nail in the coffin.

Like every lackluster battle scene overpowered by the music, I left the theatre feeling abnormally insulted, sadly confused, but most of all pummeled by stupidity.

In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale


Starring: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard, Ron Pearlman, Claire Forlani, John-Rhys Davies, Brian White.

Directed by: Uwe Boll.

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