When I received the press release for In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds and I was able to request a copy of the new blu-ray release for review, I was pretty excited, and I love fantasy films, and there aren’t enough of them made nowadays in my opinion. In fact, I was so jazzed about getting to review this one, that I bought myself a copy of the first one to watch, just in case there was anything in it that was referred to in this one. That way I’d get the references and know what was going on, should the two films be connected rather than stand alone films. I’m glad I bought the first one and watched it before this one, because if I had seen this one first, I wouldn’t have bought the other.
The first film, In the Name of the King, though it got some bad reviews, was actually an awesome film. I loved it, which made me even more excited to see this one, even though the story in this one sounded more flimsy. The first film had an excellent story, great acting, superb fight scenes, great monsters, etc…. It was just a great film all around…except for Ray Liotta as the evil wizard. He was just totally wrong for the character and didn’t play it right, but that’s not important here. I almost wondered if people’s predjudices against Uwe Boll, who I’ve met by the way and who is a very nice, cool guy, colored their reviews of the first film. In any case, that brings me to this film, which also got bad reviews. In this case however, those bad reviews are well deserved. This film is absolutely horrible, and really an embarrassment after how great the first film was.
This film stars Dolph Lundgren as an ex-special forces officer who’s now teaching martial arts to kids. One day, after he returns home and has a drink to commemorate another year since his team fell in battle during the war. Once he has his drink, he goes upstairs to run himself a bath, and is suddenly inundated by assassins who came through a portal from a time in ages past where sorcery and mystical creatures were a reality. A sorceress came through the portal to bring him back, but as the two escaped through the portal, they ran right into even more assassins and she was killed. Granger (Dolph Lundgren) is then captured by the King Raven’s men, and taken back to the fortress, where he’s informed that he was brought back there to fulfil a prophesy in which he was to kill the Holy Mother, who was supposedly this evil cult leader type of a figure that drove her followers to eat human flesh, and whose ultimate goal was to overthrow the king. Granger is sent along with a healer called Manhattan (Natassia Malthe) and a team of the king’s men to take down the Holy Mother and put an end to her cult once and for all, only things aren’t as black and white as they seem.
There is a laundry list of things that ruined this film. Rather than go into detail about everything, I’ll just make a list.
* Dolph Lundgren is 54 years old now, and he looks all stove up and stiff from his years of doing action films and other stuff, which makes him not all that believable as an action star anymore. Also, he’s not the best actor in the world, and his line delivery in this film was horrible, and his character wasn’t believable at all.
* The line delivery on the part of everyone in this film was utterly horrible. Most of them had American accents and they didn’t even try to give their characters any realism.
* The dialog was terrible, as was the story. The story was flimsy at best, uninteresting and generally contained no characters you could really care about, except for maybe the doctor.
* The fight scenes were way too choreographed and Dolph Lundgren lumbered through them like a stiff old man.
* Dolph Lundgren was wearing this hideous scarf through the whole movie. Seriously girlfriend, get a stylist! Ok, I’m just being silly there, but seriously, it was so out of place with everything else he was wearing, it just looked stupid.
* Lochlyn Munro as the king had the most ridiculous line delivery in the film, though he was given a run for his money by the wench that Granger slept with when he first got there, and by Granger himself.
* Aleks Paunovic’s character Allard, the king’s head man, had a very uneven character. One minute he hated Granger and the next they were comrades, and then he gets killed about half way through the film.
* The film starts out with the sorceress Elianna running from assassins and trying to get to the future to bring Granger back. She used this thing on her wrist to open a portal to go to the future to get him, and that left me wondering why she didn’t just open it someplace secluded instead of running through a forest attracting every assassin in the area. Then, after we’re led to believe she’s going to be a primary player in the film, she gets killed right after bringing Granger back to the past.
* The story felt disjointed and flimsy. They tried to give it some small tie to the first film by saying that Granger was the son of the king from the first film, and he was taken to the future and left at an orphanage for his own protection. Yeah, that makes sense.
I could keep going, but there’s no point really. This film was just an absolute mess. I’m not one of those people who’s going to go around slamming everything Uwe Boll makes just because he made it. In fact, I love the movie Postal, and I loved the first In the Name of the King. This one however is just a colossal disappointment.
Now that said, it was so bad, that it was actually somewhat entertaining in how bad it was. I’m sure we’ve all seen films that are so bad they become funny, and if you’re watching it with someone else, you can kind of joke back and forth about all the ridiculous things in it. That’s exactly what this film is. Ridiculous. How could it have been better? A complete re-write with a believable story, and a completely new cast that actually knows how to act like people from this era and can do the proper accents. Also, get someone who’s not 54 years old and stiff as hell to play the hero.
While this film can be fun in its badness at times, it’s really not a good film, and people who liked the first one will be very disappointed by this second outing. I can say that the visual quality and sound on the blu-ray were very good. The best favor you could do for yourself though would be to pick up a copy of the first film, which again, was excellent. The special features on this blu-ray include a behind the scenes featurette, a featurette on writing the story for the film, director’s commentary and writer’s commentary.