'Rama Rating: 1 out of 10
Notorious German director Uwe Boll (, ) returns to familiar stomping grounds in the Direct-to-DVD followup to 2006's with In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds, a fantasy action-adventure film that somehow manages to fall far short of its lackluster predecessor, its own source material and even the exacting storytelling and visual standards set by the average cable movie-of-the-week.
First and foremost, those looking for the continued adventures of Jason Statham's Farmer character in In The Name Of The King 2, or for that matter anyone from the first film, will be disappointed. The new movie disregards every element of the first film, establishing its mildly-magical fantasy kingdom sometime within Europe's Dark Age. Dolph Lundgren (, ) instead stars as Granger, a former solider in the Canadian Special Forces who is dragged back in time to fulfill a prophecy to save a kingdom against an army of Plague infested cannibals.
The time-travel premise itself is rote, Mark Twain did it in 1889 after all, and the attempts to interject culture-clash humor between the displaced Granger and the locals are not only lazy but make viewers pine for the comparative wit of such films as and . Also, after pulling off one good one right at the beginning, The Name Of The King 2 falls prey to the idea that the more twists a movie has the better it gets, just by playing with the audience’s expectations. After telegraphing the core plot turn fairly early, the film piles on with almost everybody experiencing a moment that would be shocking and unexpected if their characters were well established in the first place. The plot-critical prophecy itself isn't even clever or mysterious as they normally are in this kind of movie, instead it is all but literally a list of things the movie has to do before it can roll credits.
When Lundgren's Granger is not via voice-over pointing out whatever can't sell with just his acting, like "this water tastes bad" or "I’m trying to be sneaky now," he shares the screen with a succession of female co-stars. Each: a sorceress, a doctor and a warrior, are given names but it doesn’t seem to matter, they show up to tell the hero how great he is, share some plot critical exposition and then leave the movie just in time for the next one to arrive. Collectively Lundgren's other stars are a collection of stunt-actors and professional background players plying their trade here without distinction with dialog that will never make their demo reels. At age fifty-four, Lundgren's career is undergoing a rejuvenation, and to his credit he is doing so by playing to his strengths. In this film, he is a portraying world-weary version of the muscle-slab that so intimidated cinematic heroes and villains in the late eighties/early nineties, but nothing more.
Fans of the games can breathe a sigh of relief that this new entry at least takes the dungeon-crawling franchise's name off the marquee while it continues the director's habit of his 'game movie' films not having even a passing resemblance to the source material. Now only those who enjoyed the 2009 SouthPeak Interactive title , which shares its name with this movie's subtitle, need be worried about guilt by association.
Coming in at just over ninety minutes, The Name Of The King 2 feels much, much longer and viewers of any kind are not better for the experience. Action fans are treated to less than a handful of short, small battle scenes, none of which are shot or constricted with any originality. Lundgren was never known for his agility and his one-on-one fights are over quickly. The film's CG effects consist of one purple time-portal that could be put to shame by the one in the nineties TV series and a CG dragon that does the most damage when it is conveniently just off camera. The most that can be said about In The Name Of The King 2: Two Worlds is that it is a testament to Uwe Boll's success at making films, if not ever at making a successful film.