In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege
Starring: Jason Statham ... Farmer
Leelee Sobieski ... Muriella
John Rhys-Davies ... Merick
Ron Perlman ... Norick
Claire Forlani ... Solana
Kristanna Loken ... Elora
Matthew Lillard ... Duke Fallow
Brian J. White ... Commander Tarish (as Brian White)
Mike Dopud ... General Backler
Will Sanderson ... Bastian
Tania Saulnier ... Tawlyn
Ray Liotta ... Gallian
Burt Reynolds ... King Konreid
Gabrielle Rose ... Delinda
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Plot: A man named Farmer sets out to rescue his kidnapped wife and avenge the death of his son -- two acts committed by the Krugs, a race of animal-warriors who are controlled by the evil Gallian.
Review: BY SARAH GOPAUL, PopJournalism.ca
A star-studded cast, expert stunt coordination, $60 million budget, epic tale of heroism… and it is directed by notorious German filmmaker Uwe Boll.
As most of Boll’s previous films, this one is also based on a video game – Dungeon Siege. When asked why he turns to video games for source material, Boll said “In a video game you have all kinds of genres, you have all kinds of characters, you can cut ideas for production design, for art direction, for costumes, for fighting styles. You can take a lot of stuff out of the video game what you turn into the movie. And I like that: to have something to work with in the beginning.”
The main player, Farmer (Jason Statham), believes a man is what he does, hence the name. He does not care for the world outside his home, which consists simply of a farm, wife, child and surrogate father (Ron Perlman). However, his outlook is forced to change when an evil horde pillages his home, kidnaps his wife and kills his son; Farmer soon realizes to rescue his wife and avenge his son, he must also save the kingdom. Aligning himself with the King (Burt Reynolds) and his powerful mage (John Rhys-Davies), he must fight against the evil horde and defeat its leader, a deliciously wicked, over-the-top Ray Liotta.
While Boll has also been responsible for misses like House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne, the negative feedback has led him to take more time to develop his scripts and stay true to the film’s sources. Consequently, his two recent productions, In the Name of the King and Postal, have received positive reactions from fans and critics alike.
All big picture fantasy films that follow Lord of the Rings are unjustly compared to it, leaving Boll’s fantasy picture to be commendable but definitely different. The story is a classic: circumstances force an ordinary man to become an epic hero; but it also does not take itself too seriously, relaying numerous jokes throughout and taking advantage of the pre-determined character types.
In addition to those already mentioned, the cast also includes Kristanna Loken as a forest guardian, Leelee Sobieski as the mage’s daughter and Matthew Lillard as the king’s drunk but ambitious nephew. Lillard is often underestimated as an actor, but he displays his talent here with a dominating screen presence and scene-stealing performance.
This is a vast improvement for Boll and an entertaining choice for audiences.
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