A sequel to Uwe Boll’s 2008 The Lord of the Rings rip-off/videogame adaptation In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, this only loosely related sequel finds Dolph Lundgren tripping back in time, but unfortunately unable to stably reach a point prior to his committing to do this movie.
The story centers on Granger (Lundgren), a present-day former special forces soldier, characteristically haunted by the memories of his fallen comrades, who finds himself transported back to a mystical age of sorcery and shenanigans. One day, after a karate seminar with a bunch of tykes, he’s just minding his business in his apartment when a bunch of ninjas come bursting through a vortex. A mysterious woman helps him escape, and before he knows it Granger is in the presence of a crafty young king, Raven (Lochlyn Munro), who rules over the realm of Ehb and is
looking to expand the parameters of his kingdom, perhaps through time and space.
There’s lots of talk of Granger’s appearance fulfilling a prophecy, naturally, and the king’s chief henchman, Allard (Aleks Paunovic), does that thing where he demands obsequious deference, but eventually comes to begrudgingly respect Granger. Oh, and there’s a girl, of course, this time in the form of Manhatten (a miscast Natassia Malthe). Lots of running through the woods and effects-buoyed fisticuffs ensue.
Yawning, going-through-the-motions genre fare through and through, the movie additionally suffers from its obviously rushed production, which helps render the staging for its fight scenes downright farcical in their simplicity. The acting ranges from autopilot and disengaged/disinterested to flat-out unconvincing, though Kerry Weinrauch’s costumes at least achieve a functional degree of success on an obviously constrained budget. Still, if the devil is in the details, then Boll never met the devil, as In the Name of the King 2 again exhibits his penchant for making a day’s schedule above all else. He’s surely not the first filmmaker to encounter an actress with a nose piercing having to play a period character, but he is perhaps the first to employ such slipshod make-up artists and framing choices as to make that fact readily apparent to audiences.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, In the Name of the King 2 comes to DVD presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Boll sits for a feature-length audio commentary track, which means plenty of his wacky anecdotes and dubious insights, inclusive of stories of his dogs on the set. A brief behind-the-scenes featurette includes a decent bit of on-set footage, and interview material with Lundgren and others. Lundgren gives it the old college try, genially talking about Boll’s indefatigable energy and vision, and says that he hadn’t done a fantasy film in a long while, which made the project intriguing to him. But then Boll shows up while they’re filming this EPK chat, and things get weird and forced, like when your idiot boss shows up at a happy hour where you’re commiserating with your colleagues. Writer Michael Nachoff also submits to an interview and gets a stand-alone six-minute featurette, wherein he praises Lundgren’s performance and also talks about his writing process and the loads of voiceover narration that were excised from his screenplay. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here; for a characteristically entertaining interview with Boll, meanwhile, click here. D (Movie) C (Disc)