While many moviegoers and critics alike curse the fact that he was ever born in the first place, I think the real shame is that Uwe Boll was born when he was. His infamous, rapidly manufactured brand of B-Grade movies are generally considered to be the bane of modern filmmaking by a majority of people; who, I should point out, are the same folks that willingly pay to see Tom Cruise films. Now, had the German filmmaker been brought into our world a few decades sooner, I fully believe he would have produced a number of mind-blowing exploitation movies during the super-bad ’70s when grindhouse cinema was in full effect. His legacy would have turned into a cult following in the ’90s, and he most likely would have grown to become a low-budget movie icon today amongst cult-movie aficionados such as myself.
It’s a fascinating thought, really — much more fascinating than his recent feature, In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds, a film that the now-defunct Psychotronic Video magazine would more than likely have placed in a column under the illustrious “Sequels Nobody Asked For” section with a one-sentence assessment of the title following it. And, judging by the end-result here, I’d say a one-sentence assessment was all this movie’s script had going for it, as well.
Straight from the get-go, it’s obvious that the acting here is bad. Really bad. How bad is it? Well, for starters, the film’s star, the great Dolph Lundgren, is either bored shitless, drunk, or high (it’s hard to tell with him) throughout the entire course of the film — and he still outshines his co-stars. Dolph plays a modern-day feller named Granger: a psychologically-scarred war vet who teaches martial arts to kids in Vancouver, British Columbia, but soon finds himself being magically whisked away into a CGI time portal that lands him into the arms of a community full of bad actors and actresses, led by an astonishingly atrocious performance by Lochlyn Munro, the exalted King of the Renaissance Faire Rejects.
Naturally, the movie is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and I enjoyed every frame of it — for all the wrong reasons, of course. Boll’s trademarked “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later” method of filmmaking results in the movie boasting more holes in the story than the average fool who would expect this to be a serious feature has (or perhaps needs) in their head. And then, just when you think In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds can’t get any wackier, Boll tosses in a cheesy CGI dragon for the film’s finale. The project also features a plot twist that’s as fresh as a moldy lime — and, since I’m on the subject of mold, now’s the perfect time to mention my favorite exchange of dialogue between co-star Natassia Malthe (as a medieval physician named Manhatten) and a very uninterested Dolph Lundgren:
”Yep. Cheese mold.”
You took the very words right out of my mouth.
While the reasons for their doing so are unknown at this instance in time, Fox Home Entertainment picked up the rights to release In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds, and give us a surprisingly decent presentation for this Blu-ray release. They have even tossed in several special features, including separate commentaries from Herr Boll and “writer” Michael Nachoff (who must have been watching the Gor films when he wrote this), a behind-the-scenes featurette (hey, every masterpiece needs one of these), and an interview with Nachoff (which has some truly awful sound — not that it matters, of course).
Now were Boll to have made In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds back in the ’70s, it would have faded into obscurity, surfaced again in the ’90s, and turned into a bona fide cult classic several years after that. But, since the only negative factors in that case would be a matter of years, I think it’s safe to say that Boll’s collective work could very well become the brightening bliss of a future generation; to wit, I proudly say “Keep it up, Uwe!”
And yes, I’m serious.