In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Story (2007)

dir. Uwe Boll

While being somewhat based on the Dungeon Siege video games, a more egregious attempt to rip off The Lord of the Rings than In the Name of the King is hard to come by. A king returning to claim his throne, hulking orc rip-offs, and ethereal wood-dwellers are but some of the obvious Tolkien tropes. Yet In the Name of the King doesn’t even manage to be interesting, despite trying to mimic one of the greatest cinematic triumphs ever made. The story follows a typically wooden Jason Statham, whose facial expression does not alter whether he’s living his happy farming life, grieving his murdered son, or fighting a grim battle. The world, known as Ehb, is so thinly drawn it’s hard to care whether it’s saved or not. The tone shifts are erratic, with no semblance of balance – one moment John Rhys-Davies is grimly pontificating, the next Matthew Lillard is goofily prancing around. Battle after battle (all of which, again, very obviously mirror particular battle sequences from The Lord of the Rings), there are no stakes, no decent action, and thus no investment from the audience whatsoever. At over two hours long, not a single minute of In the Name of the King is worth remembering.

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