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Friday, January 11 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

By Brian Briggs

Jump, Jump!In the past, I've been content to review the trailer and leave it at that.  I never made an effort to do any follow up to see if my predictions or recommendations were valid.  To do that would require me to venture out from the BBasement, and interact with meatspace. I'm willing to make that sacrifice. 

This year I will try to watch all the movies that I do Trailer Reviews for on the day they premiere.  That includes the good (Spider-Man), the bad (Perfect Stranger) and the ugly (Santa Clause 3).  I will then write a follow-up to verify or dispute my findings from the Trailer Review.  I haven't figured out the logistics of where and when these will be posted, but I will keep you informed. 

This new process does put me in a dilemma when it comes to trailer selection.  Writing reviews for bad trailers is much easier than good ones.  However, enduring a 2.5-minute trailer is much easier than a two-hour movie. We'll see if I survive, and if my selection criteria are swayed. 

I try to select a movie with at least some geeky component.  Unfortunately for me, this week it's In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.  This movie falls into the long line of video game adaptations.  That's the line where they hand out brains, but you thought they said trains, so you wanted a slow one.  To top it off, it's directed by BBspot favorite, Uwe Boll.  Is it too late for me to change my mind?

Warning!I've never played Dungeon Siege, so I won't be able to judge how faithfully it portrays the game, but as a Uwe Boll film that'll be the least of my worries. 

The trailer opens with the familiar warning sign: a silver "B" enclosed by a square with "Boll KG" below it.  For moviegoers this logo is as foreboding as the universal "biohazard" symbol.

Next, zombie-orcs attack and destroy the farming village of the hero of the story, Jason Statham.  We learn that the evil wizard Gallian (Ray Liotta) has fallen into madness, and poisoned the king.  The king's men go to Statham to ask for the villagers' help.  He's all like, "No way," and they're like "WTF?"

Steal this PictureGallian is raising armies, no, check that, vast armies.  However, Statham is not alone.  Hot women drop from trees to help him fight the armies, sorry, vast armies.

John Rhys-Davies tells us that a small force might slip through the vast armies.  The next two shots come straight from The Lord of the Rings

First we have the shot from a helicopter of the Fellowship walking along the ridge of a mountain. Then, Frodo, Sam and Gollum stand on the mountain overlooking the gates of Mordor.  They must infiltrate the castle's defenses and destroy the evil Sauron, er, Voldemort, er, Gallian.

I hope they are paying royalties to Peter Jackson and Tolkien for this.

Dining in HellWhat follows is an action montage backed by Statham giving a less-than-inspiring adaptation of Aragorn's speech at the gates of Mordor.

Not content just to steal imagery from The Lord of the Rings films, the trailer also "borrows" a shot from 300 which I've captured for you. It's not as close as the Lord of the Rings "homages," but it's definitely "inspired by."

Reviewinator

Trailer Quicktime
Starring

Jason Statham
John Rhys-Davies

Director Uwe Boll
Official Site Link
US Opening

January 11, 2008

Rated PG-13
Genre Video Game Adaptation
Explosions 2
Weapons Sword, ax, fireball, pitchfork, bow and arrow, flying books
Man Quotient

7.3

Trailer
Déjà Vu
Willow
Geek Factor 80%
See Trailer? Yes
See Movie? No (Verified)
Follow Up Link

Ending Prognostication: Statham and his ragtag band of heroes will infiltrate the castle and defeat Gallian.  One of the heroes will die in the attempt.  Order will be restored to the kingdom… for a time.  I guarantee the door will be left open for a sequel.

Conclusion on Trailer: While the trailer borrows much of its imagery, it doesn't look as low-budget as I've come to expect from an Uwe Boll film.  The deficiencies could be masked by the small screen, and the quick-cutting, but it works for a trailer.  Statham and Liotta look silly as the hero and villain respectively. However, I'm recommending watching this trailer, but don't get your hopes up.

Conclusion on Film:  The negatives that can be covered up in a 90-second trailer can't be masked in a 120-minute movie.  The actors and the Uwe-Bollness will come through.  I'll be brave enough to see this one, but please don't follow my lead.  It'll only encourage him.

 

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