Director Uwe “I’m the only genius in the industry” Boll makes another glorious attempt at translating a video game to the big screen and, to no one’s surprise, he once again makes a large steaming pile of cinematic dung that leaves actors praying that this film will be struck from their IMDB page.
The film isn’t as technically bad as some of his previous outings, House of the Dead for example, but that is actually a stroke against the movie as the joy of watching spring board launched zombies is sadly missed here. This time Boll tries to make an epic with the scope of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings but with a tenth the budget and even less talent, and he fails on about every level, and the scenes that are direct rip-offs from Jackson’s trilogy just make it worse by pointing out how it pales in comparison.
The story centers on a farmer who is named Farmer (Jason Statham), even his wife calls him Farmer for some reason, and of course, there is a perfectly good reason for him to be simply called Farmer and that’s because he isn’t just a farmer, he’s a bloody superhero with a mysterious past. When his wife is kidnapped, and his son is murdered by those low-rent orcs, he goes into full vengeance mode and teams up with fellow farmer Norick (Ron Perlman), who also has a mysterious past, to save his wife and possibly the kingdom, and along the way, they get help from…I’m going to say, elves?
• Farmer has the fighting skills of Aragon and Captain America combined, but we are never given any explanation as to how he got those skills. The big revelation about his past does not explain this at all.
• The king has his own company of ninjas.
• Burt Reynolds is starting to look like Richard Lynch due to one too many plastic surgeries.
• Ray Liotta as the evil sorcerer Gallian is so badly miscast that I longed for Jeremy Irons hamming it up in Dungeon and Dragons during all his scenes.
• All the battles are fought in the woods when that would be tactically the dumbest thing an army could do.
• John Rhys-Davies is no Gandalf.
• Leelee Sobieski is no Arwen. She was so bad I kept wishing Nicholas Cage would show up in a bear suit to punch her in the face.
• Farmer never wears anything but his stupid shirt, even when he decides to hook up with the army. Did no one have a spare chain mail shirt he could borrow?
• Jason Statham cannot deliver rousing speeches. In fact, I doubt he could inspire a group of Cub Scouts.
• Having your showdown between the hero (Farmer in full Aragon mode) against the villain (Gallian in full Saruman mode) makes little to no sense as Gallian had been clearly established to be a very powerful wizard, so having him up against a non-magic user should have this fight lasting about ten seconds.
At two hours in length, it often seems longer than Peter Jackson’s trilogy, and that is mostly because we care nothing for any of the characters (with the possible exception of Ron Perlman, but that’s because he’s Ron Perlman), and when the film reaches its heroic conclusion my only thought was, “Eh, it could have been worse; it could have been three hours long.” It’s certainly not the worst sword and sorcery film ever made, but if the money spent on this film had been put towards a good script, and given to a talented director, you could have maybe had something halfway decent.
Uwe Boll delivers another cinematic turd.