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Sigh, Uwe Boll. Thankfully this is the last Uwe Boll videogame adaptation that was ever released theatrically in the US. He tried one more time with Far Cry, but only got it shown on one screen before it went straight to DVD, so I'm not including that one on my list.
But here's the thing. I'm no fan of Uwe Boll, but at this point he's grown enough as a filmmaker that I no longer think he deserves the hate he gets by default. Yes, the movies he makes now are extremely mediocre, but I think it should take more than just mediocrity to earn a Razzie.
I mean, how strange is it that his putrid House Of The Dead wasn't even nominated for a Razzie, yet the slightly better movies Alone In The Dark and BloodRayne were both nominated (but didn't win)? And when he finally does win a Razzie, it's for some of the most professional (though still mediocre) work he'd done up to that point?
Thing is, he continues to improve as a director just through getting so much practice in (he directs roughly two movies a year), but few people have actually seen his more recent movies before they hate on them. He's just popular to hate on because it's fun to hate on things together. It's sort of the same phenomenon that leads people who haven't seen Super Mario Bros. in decades to believe it's the worst videogame movie of all time, when there are at least 20 videogame movies far worse that they probably haven't seen. Even though I'm semi-defending Boll's more recent movies, they're still worse than Super Mario Bros. was.
Anyways, In The Name Of The King is a very mediocre film. The foundation of the story is a framework built of cliches and decorated with bland dialogue and barely competent direction. It's astounding that a movie can remain so uninteresting while featuring a star-studded cast that includes Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, Matthew Lillard, Ray Liotta, John Rhys-Davies, and Burt Reynolds. Lillard, for his part, attempts to entertain by chewing up scenery every time he's on screen like it's all he's had to eat all day.
But what's even more surprising are the few moments where Boll actually hits it out of the park. In one brief scene, a character has to bury his son. The editing and music builds to a frantic crescendo that does a better job of conveying the character's emotional state than I thought Boll capable of.
The other surprising moment is a scene that manages to be the first Uwe Boll fight sequence I've ever seen that I actually enjoyed. Boll loves fight sequences, but he's terrible at directing them. But he struck gold in one particular scene with an idea so brilliant that not even he could manage to screw it up: a telekinetic sword fight. The rival main magic users stand in place and have a conversation while multiple swords fly around them. Not only is the it most memorable scene in the movie, it might just be the most memorable scene in Boll's career so far. If only the rest of the movie was as strong.