In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is the kind of movie that people you hate are likely to enjoy.
To me, Dungeon Siege doesn’t scream movie material. After all, the action RPG series was all about defeating dragons with a sword so that you could earn enough experience points to level up and hit more monsters using more powerful weapons. Apparently, the game has a narrative solid enough to encourage some people to make a movie based on it. And who better to direct it that Uwe Boll? Right?
The first thing that caught my attention is the number of famous actors that are part of this shoddy production, including Jason Statham (Fast & Furious 7, The Transporter,) Ron Pearlman (Hellboy,) Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) and Mathew Lillard (SLC Punk!,) among many others. This is certainly not the first time that video game movies have stellar cast (and if you don’t believe me watch Bloodrayne and Wing Commander,) but given the poor track record of previous films based on games, I would have though that everyone involved might have learned their lesson by now.
The movie follows the story of a man simply as Farmer and his family who are living in a remote part of a kingdom, until one day they are attacked by the worst looking orcs I’ve ever seen (seriously, I’ve seen cosplay that’s miles better than the costumes the orcs from this movie are using.) As it turns out, this isn’t an isolated incident and an army of Krug invades and pillages every village in the kingdom. Now Farmer, whose son was murdered and wife kidnapped during the invasion, needs to form a team of warriors to avenge the death of his son and to rescue his beloved wife. It’s worth mentioning that the king’s nephew is helping Gallian to gain control of the kingdom little by little. Gallion is a sadistic and powerful mage that has the primitive race of Krug under his spell, so he can command them to do anything he wants.
It takes a lot of time to establish all the characters and their motivations and while there are some actions scenes here and there (they aren’t that great looking so don’t get your hopes up,) not a lot happens during that time. For a movie of this kind, you expect colossal fights between orcs and humans, not political intrigue, constant plot twists that don’t make a lot of sense and banal dialogue. Once deaths happen, identities are revealed, women are captured and the role of each warrior is assumed, we can see some fights, but even then the characters insist on uttering stupid one-liners. In the Name of the King tries to be a fantasy action film with larger-than-life fights between humans and orcs. But instead, this is a boring movie that’s more interested in setting up events, explaining the state of the kingdom and revealing the motivations of each character that’s fighting the war.
This movie is particularly hard to watch in a post-Game of Thrones era. Although I’m not a huge fan of HBO’s massively successful series, Game of Thrones proved that a thought-provoking and tremendously popular TV series has the potential to appeal to the masses if it’s well done. The Name of the King is the opposite of that and even after suffering through it, I have a hard time figuring out who’s this for.
And the action scenes are ridiculous in the worst ways possible. Farmer uses a boomerang, ninjas drop from the sky during a battle, orcs set themselves on fire and catapult to the enemy lines (I would have to double check, but I don’t think that strategy was taken from The Art of War,) guardians of the forest attack using vines and one of the last scenes features two characters fighting using floating swords. Some parts of this film are beyond ridiculous. Also, let me remind you that this film’s over two hours long, so there’s a lot of room for banal dialogue and a staggering amount of bizarre scenes.
For whatever reason, the special effects are woefully uneven and they will definitely remind you of other films in the genre. The visual imagery evokes popular fantasy films, particularly The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s hard to say if this was an accident or something made on purpose, but taking into account that the similarities are taken to an extreme, I think the latter is more likely.
So if you watched other video games films and more precisely films directed by Uwe Boll, you know what to expect. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale is the kind of movie that people you hate are likely to enjoy.