IN THE NAME OF THE KING 2: TWO WORLDS
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
There was a time when a movie from Uwe Boll meant a dreadful and incoherent two-hour theatrical experience. The prolific and reviled director made a name for himself several years ago by funding his films through creative financial dealing in his native land of Germany. The result was a slew of terrible video game adaptations like “Alone in the Dark,” “House of the Dead,” “BloodRayne” and the original “In the Name of the King.”
Boll’s widespread fame was relatively short-lived, and his movies all tanked at the box office. Generally, his films have been forced onto the direct-to-DVD market, and while he’s still making them, he’s found his niche, apparently. In fact, while they are still far from brilliant movies, Boll’s direct-to-video films have stumbled into a certain level of camp entertainment. If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of “BloodRayne III: The Third Reich” and tell me you didn’t find anything fun about it.
Boll’s latest venture is the sequel “In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds,” which forgoes the relative big name cast of the first film (that had included Jason Statham, Leelee Sobieski, Ray Liotta and Ron Perlman) for a single name player, Dolph Lundgren. Now, Lundgren has spent plenty of time in the direct-to-video market, often directing his own stuff, but he’s got a slight reprieve with his work in “The Expendables.”
The story follows Lundgren as a modern special forces veteran who is whisked back in time to the Dark Ages to fulfill an ancient prophecy. I’ll be honest with you… I’m not really solid on the story as it does get murky and convoluted at times. But this film has the enjoyability of a typical movie you’d find premiering on Syfy on a Saturday afternoon. Were it released in the theaters like its predecessor, it’d be terrible. But finding its place as a low-budget sword-and-sandal action flick, I kind of enjoyed it.
What’s not to love about a movie that features time-traveling ninjas, a CGI dragon and a scene where Dolph Lundgren literally asks the king what his name is. Genius!
The Blu-ray comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette and a profile on the screenwriter’s process. There’s also two commentary tracks, one featuring Boll and the other featuring writer Michael C. Nachoff.