So last night I went with Matt to see “In the Name of the King”… which I’d seen the trailer for and recoiled from as it seemed an obvious plagiarism of Lord of the Rings. It also looked pretty silly, even given that. So, I wasn’t particularly interested, but I do like Jason Statham’s movies in general, so I figured I’d allow it the opportunity to present any redeeming qualities.
In a nutshell, it was pretty bloody bad. The special effects and scenery and all that were flawless – at a technical level probably better than Lord of the Rings anyway. But the acting was oft-times mediocre, and the mood shifts from deliberately corny to cliché to almost meaningful, and back, sometimes all in the one scene. It has that feel that they wanted to make a good-for-laughs action flick, but couldn’t commit to it fully and disastrously tried to develop a serious storyline as well… with a bit more humour and some solid parody, this would likely have been pretty good.
It had some good moments, and surprisingly it was probably the Duke – played by Matthew Lillard of Hackers & Scooby Doo fame – that I actually liked the most, because Lillard played him as over the top, yet also with key subtleties, and with good humour… he had the right feel for a tongue-in-cheek action-comedy-parody, which is what this should have been as I said, so, points to him at least.
Other than that though… yeah, Lord of the Rings rip off. Several times they hang lanterns on this, such as when they’re completely ripping off Fanghorn forests, and they pan on an otherwise innocuous spiderweb at a key moment in the dialogue… so they obviously intended to be a cheap clone… but yeah, it was a bit weird all over.
If I were a movie critic I’d probably give it 1.5 stars and say ‘wait ’till it’s on TV… even then only maybe’.