"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Saturday, January 23, 2010

SNMR 7.20: "In the Name of the King"


Farmer (Jason Statham) is a man who wants no part of fame or fortune. He just wants to protect and provide for his family. When his farm and village is ransacked by evil beasts called Krugs, Farmer is forced into action to rescue his wife from the clutches of the evil sorcerer (Ray Liotta) and avenge the murder of his son. Why does Farmer haunt the dreams of the evil sorcerer? Hmmmm....

I borrowed this movie from the library for two reasons: the first being I liked Jason Statham in the remake of "The Italian Job" and I have a soft spot for movies set in the medieval period of history. I'm glad I didn't pay to see this movie.

Films set in medieval times are either really good or really bad. I don't know of any that fall somewhere in the middle. While this movie is typical medieval themed fare it falls short due to a mediocre script and some odd casting choices. Statham is believable as Farmer, but the fact that he fights using martial arts moves and wears no armor is a bit curious. It's nice to see Ron Perlman au-natural, instead of all made up, as in the Hellboy films (remember the 1980's TV series "Beauty and the Beast"?) John Rhys-Davies gets a pass based on reputation.

Here's where the casting gets weird: Ray Liotta is a decent enough actor but is out of place as the evil sorcerer seeking world domination. Burt Reynolds makes for an odd choice of king, nowhere near as credible as Bernard Hill's Theoden in "LOTR" or Sir Sean Connery in his "Robin Hood" cameo.

The female cast is fine, including Leelee Sobieski, Kristianna Loken and Claire Forlani. The actor who steals this movie is quite unexpected. Matthew Lillard - the dude who played Shaggy in those abhorrent Scooby-Doo live action monstrosities - absolutely takes his character to the next level, sort of like a Mordred in the King Arthur legend but with an evil-jovial slant.

German director Uwe Boll does a fine enough job keeping everything together, given the material. The film's run time of 127 minutes seems a bit long.

The behind the scenes featurette included on the DVD is worthwhile to watch. If you're not expecting too much then this is a decent enough movie, I suppose.

** out of *****

In the Name of the King (2008, PG-13, 127 ninutes), starring Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys Davies, Claire Forlani, Kristianna Loken, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard and Ron Perlman. Based on the video game "Dungeon Siege" by Chris Taylor. Story by Jason Rappaport, Dan Stronack and Doug Taylor. Screenplay by Doug Taylor. Directed by Uwe Boll.



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