Monday, January 14, 2008

In The Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

In the Name of God, DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. No, seriously. Don't see it.

What's that, you say? It's Jason Statham? Yes, but he's SLEEPWALKING. And he does some kick-ass fighting, but that seems to be the only time he's half awake.

What about John-Rhys Davies? The sadness in his puppy dog eyes speaks volumes. In fact I think I heard him say as he was riding a horse around "Remember when I got shrunk to dwarf size and had prosthetics slapped on my face for Peter Jackson? Remember how much more fabulous New Zealand was over Croatia? Good times...good times.

If you tell me that Burt Reynolds was a factor in considering this film, I kill you dead. Seriously, Burt doesn't look too bad, but that facelift looks better when he's laying down. He should have been laying down for the whole film, because his face looked very squished when he wore a helmet. Oh, and the hair dye for the beard and brows has to go (Thanks to Christian for noticing that little detail).

Hmm? Oh, you were jazzed about Claire Forlani and Leelee Sobieski? They were not jazzed about doing this movie. My comrades in torture mused whether there were any AA meetings needed after the film wrapped, because we think that alcoholics were born on set, trying to numb the pain of their lines with the sweet nectar of a few flowers. Leelee looks drugged, and poor Claire looks very distressed to be so far away from a day spa. I hope the paychecks were good.

Okay, lets face some facts, people. UWE BOLL. Do I have to say anything else? At least Matthew Lillard as a fey Duke had some fun on screen, but honestly, it was painful for me to think that Ron Perlman, who gets one of those rare chances to be seen onscreen without any makeup or prosthetics is reduced to walking a pig around (okay, it's only for a few minutes, but you get my point).

But wait! Kristanna Lokken is in it! Yeah, as part of the Cirque du Soleil troupe living in the trees. "We stay out of the affairs of men." As one of our filmgoing gang noted, "Their non-pacifism confused me." Meaning, they were all like "Get the heck out of our forest, Jason Statham and Ron Perlman and that other guy with dreadlocky hair and don't bother us...we're all girl power and stuff and boys are icky." And then by the end of the movie they were all like "yeah, okay you lived through two-thirds of the movie and even though the weirdo people controlled by Ray Liotta in his personal fog machine didn't bother us PERSONALLY, we'll like, throw in and help you out and stuff, because, you know, what the hell, right?"

Ninjas! I kid you not. There. Were. NINJAS.

*sigh* Yes, I just mentioned Ray Liotta, but there's a special place in film hell waiting for poor Ray. Imagine "Goodfellas" Ray for a second. Yeah...young, cute, piercing blue eyes, world on a platter. Okay, now Ray in this film...imagine, face-lifted, macking on Leelee (I audibly cried "Ew!" when he kissed her full on the mouth with what is left of his lips), and stockholder in the wind machine/dry ice companies. Oh but the blue eyes are still awesome.

Let's see...what am I missing? Oh yeah. The movie is about a Dungeon Siege, right? By my count, the actual siege of the dungeon is done by 4 people. Who all go in separately! Apparently they had to wait about five minutes after someone else would go in. I don't know if the place was at capacity and one more person being in there would violate some fire codes, but it must have been a pretty strict rule to keep them going in solo.

Let's talk battle strategy for a second. Okay, you as a powerful magic guy *Ray Liotta I'm looking at you* control a mindless army of Orcs...I mean, Krugs, and you outnumber the good guys about 4 to 1. But, you are in front of a dungeon. Catapults, fiery stuff, lots of manpower. Okay, so you've got to charge uphill. Bummer, right? But you still have like a gazillion Krugs, so no problem right? At what point in military strategy is it ever a good idea to make it rain on your army? Because then your mindless dudes, who, I think it's already pretty well implied DON'T HAVE ANY BRAINS OF THEIR OWN, start sliding backward on mud.

Okay, so magic dude isn't a brilliant military strategist. But what about our plucky army, sitting pretty at top of hill in the rain? You know, it'd be awesome to give up your position by charging down the hill toward the idiots scrabbling through the mud so you can die faster.

Now, why am I telling you all this? Because the palette of the film and the camerawork make it neigh impossible to figure out just what the heck you are watching at any given moment. During well choreographed fight scenes (or at least the ones that appear to be pretty good) Uwe and his DP apparently have ADD and don't want us to enjoy the skill and mastery in the fighting, because suddenly, in the middle of the scene, the camera will swing around wildly, barely tracking the action as if one of them said "hey, point the camera over there! I think I saw a Leprechaun!" And those are the scenes that are in focus.

Still not convinced? If you can endure the 2 hour 7 minute run time (supposedly we are denied another half hour of this greatness due to us being Americans -- those lucky Germans!) then you will be treated to the best rock songs ever written for a medieval fantasy film. Seriously epic.

This movie is full of FAIL. Lots of it. It isn't even a so bad it's funny film, it's a so bad it's really bad and kind of painful film.

If you have a death wish, or perhaps are trying to sleep for two hours (inadvisable due to noisy clashing of swords) by all means, this is your movie.

But, seriously, just don't. Okay? For me? 'Kay Thx Bai


Cunningham said...

there's an interview with Leelee Sobieski in the latest issue of CAMPUS CIRCLE magazine where she talks of this movie and her career...

Tim W. said...

Okay, I read the interview with Leelee and she says, and I quote "The director and the script are always the first thing and then the character because you can make any character interesting.”

So she looked at this director and this script and, what, decided NOT to get a restraining order?

And I did see a little of this, and did Ray Liotta really get a facelift? He was never attractive, and he just looks older now.