Making the Grades
In the Name of the King is a fantasy-based script, based on the role-playing video game Dungeon Siege. The story features hordes of mindless, bloodthirsty Krug warriors controlled by Gallian (Ray Liotta), an evil sorcerer hidden in the dank, recesses of the castle. From his vantage point, Gallian plots to overthrow King Konreid (Burt Reynolds) and inaugurate the sovereign's loathsome, cowardly nephew (Matthew Lillard) as a puppet monarch. But his plans to topple the regime don't account for Farmer (Jason Statham), a quiet, hardworking man whose wife (Claire Forlani) is kidnapped when the marauding Krugs descend on the village of Stonebridge.
Arming himself with a broadsword, Farmer joins his old mentor Norick (Ron Perlman) and his brother-in-law Bastian (Will Sanderson) as they set out to avenge the deaths of countless townsfolk and rescue the captives. During his campaign, Farmer is sought out by the King's own mystic Merick (John Rhys-Davis) who senses some power in the unpretentious crop grower. But despite Merick's invitation, Farmer is reluctant to enlist until he sees the enormity of the opposing forces. While he eventually agrees to fight along side Commander Tarish (Brian J. White) and his troops, he still eagerly takes the opportunity to slip away from the main battlefield by volunteering for a dangerous infiltration mission.
From the opening credits of this two-hour epic, audiences are besieged with endless battle scenes. Although sanitized of senseless blood and gore, the depictions prove to be intense as men are shot, slashed and decapitated during the conflicts. Unfortunately, the clashes do little to move the storyline forward. Feeling more like diversions, the script jumps aimlessly between the burgeoning casts of soldiers, forest fairies, prisoners and royals.
Though magical powers, massive armies, black clad ninjas and buxom female combatants may be components of the gaming genre, the side stories inherent in that style of entertainment fail to convert seamlessly to film. Rather than trying to pack every element on to the screen, filmmakers should have trimmed down their cast or left the Farmer to plow his rows in the gaming world.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about In the Name of the King - A Dungeon Siege Tale.
Why is Farmer reluctant to join the King’s army? What is his purpose in pursuing the Krugs? What causes his change in attitude?
How does the structure of games differ from movies? What difficulties are there in adapting games to film?
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to In the Name of the King - A Dungeon Siege Tale.
John Rhys-Davis, who plays Merick in this film, has a lengthy and varied resume of television and film work including roles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, The Jungle Book 2 and One Night with the King.