I am watching "In the Name of the King" right now… and it’s terrible, just terrible. Truly awful. I mean really, really bad. I’m not saying it’s as bad as "Barbarella" or "Plan 9", but it’s right up there. I might rank it somewhere on a par with "Killer Klowns from Outer Space".
It’s extremely derivative of other, better movies like "Lord of the Rings" down to the design and staging of certain "Good Wizard vs. Bad Wizard" scenes. It’s poorly acted, shot, written, and conceived in general. The characters are all cookie-cutter standards. The continuity sucks. Gallian’s costumes in particular are way out of the time period, and I’m sorry, but I’m pretty sure that not all medieval military generals were black. In fact, I’m thinking that was probably pretty rare in those days.
One thing puzzled me more than anything else about this movie; the casting. I can see Burt Reynolds needing the work and the money, so no blame goes to him, but the casting director needs shot. It’s "Robin Hood: Prince of Theives" all over again. Obviously at some point in some meeting, some idiot with too much influence piped up and said something to the effect of "I don’t think the audience will notice that everyone in the movie has a different accent". He’s the effin KING, though… find someone kingly. I grew up watching him play the Bandit, I simply cannot accept him in a position of authority. That’s just the way it is.
Ray Liotta is also blameless on this one. I’d give him a pass because he needs the money, but pure evil is just not his thing. SMARM is his true calling. Backstabbing bad guys are his forte, not in-your-face evil guys. He’s just too friendly looking for that… sorry dude.
Jason Statham hasn’t quite made his fortune yet, but I probably wouldn’t have picked this film at this point in my career if I were him. If he was looking to broaden his acting resume away from badass criminals, then I’d advise broadening in a different direction… I’m just sayin’.
Matthew Lillard, though one of my favorite actors in general, probably wants a little work these days, but I think the money from "Scooby Doo" should still have enough mileage on it that he could have given this one a pass. Maybe this one looked better on paper than it does on screen, but still, he’s gotta take some of the blame on this one. Come on, man, you were Stevo in "SLC Punk!", you can do better than this.
Ron Perlman, that’s a little harder to take. I mean he’s got Hellboy 2 coming up, and about a bazillion video game voiceovers on his resume. He is NOT hurting for work, I wouldn’t think, unless he’s got some money-eating drug or gambling problem that I haven’t heard of.
The most incredible WTF in the whole casting mess is seeing John Rhys-Davies. Doesn’t he have F-you money after the Lord of the Rings trilogy? What does he need a part in THIS steaming pile for? You we’re Gimli for chrissakes, have some pride will ya? As a side note, this role DID give him the chance to parade his creepy severed finger in front of a zoomed-in camera. That counts for something, I guess.
On the whole, this movie wasn’t quite bad enough to make me turn away in disgust. "The Stupids" is still the only movie ever to have been THAT bad. We did put the DVD player into overdrive to make it go away faster, though, and even then I wanted the last hour and a half of my life back.
Right on about the casting on this. I have to tout the fact that I pretty much avoided this on casting alone. I\’m probably a bigger Jason Statham fan than most, even enjoying him in Crank which was a bit too phrenetic a movie for most, but RIGHT up his alley. But when I saw his face in the trailers a year or so ago, I had a feeling his cockney accent wouldn\’t play in \’Nottingham\’ or anywhere except in a village near London.