Fox // 2011 // 96 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 9th, 2012
Uwe Boll's first installment in what looks to be a miserable franchise, proved to be a tedious, joyless fantasy experience starring Jason Statham. He's since swapped Statham for Dolph Lundgren, but fear not -- Boll's retained all his other crap.
Lundgren is Granger, a hard-boiled former special forces solider who's just trying to make a living beating up overweight men with midlife crises in his dojo. What he doesn't count on is getting sucked through a portal that opens into a magical land I assume is the past, though I'm pretty sure Granger's timeline was just regular present day. Anyway, he meets a douchey-looking king who asks him to go on a quest and kill a queen and maybe fight a dragon. And Granger says "Sure!"
The man just keeps getting work. No matter how many of his movies are savaged, Uwe Boll continues to receive the green light from studios, and his latest folly is a completely forgettable adventure. Now it should be noted that I'm not a too-cool-for-school reflexive Boll-hater. Sure, he's served up heaping loads of crap, but something like the first Bloodrayne was actually an okay B-movie trash-fest. If you didn't know Boll directed it, would your hatred burn as bright for his efforts?
Eh, perhaps...In the Name of the King 2 is a flaccid affair, sword-and-sorcery saga a few degrees removed from a Syfy original movie starring an actor who seems like he'd prefer being in the middle of a nuclear reactor core during meltdown to starring in this movie.
The worst thing about In the Name of the King 2 isn't that it's terrible -- it's that utterly mediocre. A terrible movie at least has some perverse value. If it was "so bad you have to see it to believe it," someone might take the bait and check it out to see what all the bellyaching is about. Alas, here we have another dull, dreary excursion into a boring mythological world, populated by half-baked characters that engage in PG-13 rated mayhem (despite the film's R rating).
On its face, the plot had some potential to be cool. A modern-day special forces soldier, employing advanced tactics to take out an army of sword-wielding bad guys? Not bad! But Boll totally muffs it, opting to focus his attention on goofy anachronistic vernacular and Dolph Lundgren looking flummoxed. The result is a bored looking Dolph mingling with Renaissance Faire outcasts.
And don't count on any action to lift you out of these doldrums. Boll tries to shoot the combat with a shaky-cam gritty style, but this watered-down Bourne approach just makes things bloodless and confusing.
Thumps up for the Blu-ray, however, a fine example of technical prowess. The 1.78:1/1080p AVC-encoded high definition treatment is quite clean. The color palette is dirty and earthy, but the resolution pops. Sound comes from a clean 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and it's noisy enough when the action calls for it. Extras: commentary from Uwe Boll and writer Michael C. Nachoff, a behind-the-scenes documentary, and a featurette on the writing of the film.
A premise with some potential is squashed underfoot by leaden mediocrity.
In the name of the king, no more!
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R