In the Name of the King 2 (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

In the Name of the King 2 (2011)

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The credits say this dragon was created by one man. Given the Jason and the Argonauts vibe with its movements this fact doesn't come as a surprise.

The nice thing about our rating scale here at Can't Stop the Movies is that I just need to enjoy a film to give it a good rating.  One of the defining Uwe Boll film enjoyment moments came early during the first In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale when Matthew Lillard stumbled onscreen, drunk or high, slurring his lines with the force and verve of a young Brando.  This was before Burt Reynolds delivered a five minute monologue about seaweed on his deathbed or Ron Perlman tried to keep himself from punching everyone on set.

So I sat down to the sequel which had shed the cumbersome A Dungeon Siege Tale, adding a much more economical 2 instead.  Very quickly a not yet identified but soon to be forgotten young fighter is slicing up ninjas in the forest and after felling her foes wanders offstage to find that she, gasp, is in modern day Toronto!  Had Uwe Boll finally done it, did he just decide to incorporate every mistake he made into the plot of the film itself?

Sadly, my initial giddiness at the sheer glee Boll approaches his ineptitude with quickly rescinded when the story cut to Dolph Lundgren existing for about ten minutes.  He beats up some of his karate students but then we see him wander around his apartment, examine a bottle of liquor, sit on a chair, cook some food.  It's like Boll decided to remake Jeanne Dielman minus any sort of social subtext or commentary.  Let me be the hopefully first and only person to point out that watching Lundgren watch things is not any kind of fun I'm familiar with.

Lundgren looks positively thrilled at all times.

There are no miracle performances to save this sequel.  I had hopes that the king would be the same sort of maniac that Lillard pulled off so wonderfully in the first film, but instead I get a performance from Lochlyn Munro which is serviceable at evil and nothing more.  Lundgren itself is as disaffected in this film as Perlman was angry in the first.  I justify his appearance in this film by assuming he wandered onto the set accidentally while hunting in the woods, explaining both his disinterest and the fetching warmth of his coat and scarf.

Compounding the general lackluster sense of badness at play is the female supporting cast who Boll treats with his usual sense of tact and decency - which is, to say, not much.  They all want to jump Lundgren's bones and have character traits that begin and end with what kind of weapon they use or, would like to use, in combat.  His films aren't misogynistic when it comes to women, it's just clear that Boll and whatever screenwriter he's been forced to torment with his ideas don't care enough to write a character with an arc in general. Toss in the necessity of writing for a female character and any sense of caring goes out the window.

I realize I go into each Boll movie anticipating an experience of schadenfreude but it's become incredibly clear that as Boll learns to be a better director he has slowly ceased being an entertaining one.  The first ItNotK is one of his "masterworks", but the original Alone in the Dark and Postal aren't without their hilarious inept charm.  There aren't any moments in this film as inexplicable as the continent sized explosion of AitD or George Bush and Osama Bin Laden skipping merrily in a field in Postal.

Vote now, bad wig or horribly grown method acting hair?

ItNotK 2 is just serviceable and nothing more.  It's characters are kept within frame, I heard the dialogue at an appropriate volume, and the credits rolled when the film ran out of plot.  It will trick people into consuming it's blandness with the promise of ninjas and Lundgren, leaving them with the sad promise of what could have been.  I may not expect good things from Boll, I just don't want to be bored.

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In the Name of the King 2 (2011)

Directed by Uwe Boll.
Screenplay by Michael Nachoff.
Starring Dolph Lundgren.

Posted by Andrew

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