“In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds” Review

Granger the modern-day veteran meets Raven, a medieval king.In my previous article, I talked about a film called In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale.  In case you didn’t read that review, the film is by the infamous Uwe Boll, and it’s high fantasy at its very worst.  Upon finishing that abomination, Boll must have realized that there remained at least a very few of the genre’s worst writing practices that he’d not had time for in the original.  Sadly for everyone concerned, good old Uwe decided to make two sequels just so he could squeeze in more of the worst things a fantasy writer can do.

Previously on In the Name of the King…

Jason Statham and Ray Liotta duel to the death with swords.The first movie, although it had a cast of well-known actors (and even a great one here and there), was, for the most part, poorly acted.  Their costumes look so cheap that one can take none of the characters at all seriously—particularly Ray Liotta, who wears a black leather “greaser” jacket throughout most of the film—and almost all the hairstyles look ’70s at the oldest.  Despite the beautiful locations (it was shot right here in Victoria) and camerawork derivative of Peter Jackson, the editing is nonetheless a classic of Boll-ish chaos, making it impossible at times to follow what’s happening.

Farmer and Solana make out and all plot-threads are left unresolvedAnd, finally, the story; the story encompasses nearly everything a fantasy writer should avoid.  I’ve already gone on about all this, so read my previous article if you’re interested in the details, but to summarize, In the Name of the King is one of the worst fantasy works I’ve encountered.  Of all the numerous plot-threads that Boll introduces, not a single one of them is given even the slightest resolution, so were it not for the film’s lack of quality, it would have been exactly the sort of film to desperately need a sequel.

And Now…  The Epic Conclusion to Absolutely Nothing!

With that first insult to the genre so clearly begging for a sequel to resolve its many “cliffhangers,” Boll brought us the unimaginatively titled “In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds”—a film that revisits not a single plot-thread from the original and instead manages to jump the shark despite the already low quality of the franchise.

Shifting Settings

In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds begins with its star Dolph Lundgren, whose mumbling makes his every line hard to understand, giving a rather bored narration that makes as little sense as you’d expect from Boll.

“Elianna the Powerful—sorceress, shifter—running for her life through a forest she’s never seen… until this moment in time.  Assassins, nameless and without mercy; soldiers of fortune, mercenaries, hitmen—history’s rife with bastards like these.”

We see Elianna defeat her poorly-costumed pursuers with ease in an overlong and quite odd scene, and then the ever-mumbling Lundgren decides to repeat himself.

“Elianna the Powerful—sorceress, shifter—running through a forest in a world she’s never seen, moving against time itself… to save my life.”

Elianna runs out into a clearing, and the camera cuts to a different angle, revealing a modern city.  Thus it is revealed that Elianna is, in fact, in modern-day Vancouver, British Columbia, and this is where this thing really jumps the shark.

Jumping the Shark

Elianna the sorceress runs across a modern road in Vancouver.If you’ve not seen the first film, you may think that this is an interesting twist—coming out of the forest to see Vancouver.  As far as that goes, the reveal is surprisingly well done for an Uwe Boll film.  I must also half-congratulate that he made as decent a choice as Vancouver, if only because there are more common and far worse choices that bad fantasy writers have made.  This would have been quite a bit worse had the modern city been New York or Los Angeles; American things, in general, have a bluntly un-medieval feel to them and tend to clash badly with fantasy.  Canada is a much better fit.  However, I doubt this was Boll’s reasoning; more likely it was just cheaper to film in Vancouver.

Half-decent choice of city aside, the abrupt transition from the first film’s traditional (albeit poorly executed) high fantasy setting to this film’s portal fantasy only serves to break what little immersion the original gave us.  Although adding portal fantasy elements to a high fantasy story isn’t always doomed to this fate, in this instance the decision causes the already dreadful series to jump the shark once and for all.  Indeed, as this is Uwe Boll we’re dealing with, In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds will be to portal fantasy what the first movie was to high fantasy.

Break the Wrist; Walk Away

It is then that we are introduced to Dolph Lundgren’s character, Granger.  I suppose giving the protagonist a name that means “farmer” isn’t as lazy as merely calling him “Farmer,” but this is about as close this sequel ever comes to a connection with the original.  Unlike the Farmer of the first film, Granger’s name doesn’t reflect his occupation this time.  That occupation, as it turns out, is teaching Rex-Kwon-Do to a bunch of little kids.

Granger the Rex-Kwon-Do teacher sloppily kicks his partner.Granger finishes the day’s class by beating the crap out of a few volunteers before going home, where we find out that he’s a retired special-forces veteran.  After getting a bath started in the tub, he pours himself a drink for the anniversary of when all his comrades died in the war, expressing a desire to trade places with them.  Although this scene is slow, it does establish that he’s incredibly depressed and even has somewhat of a death-wish.  Unfortunately, all this will have virtually no impact on anything henceforth in the film.

Back to… Ehb?

While walking back to the bathroom where a hot bath awaits him, Granger is attacked by several black-hooded figures in face-paint, the first of whom he easily overpowers.  He goes to his bedroom and retrieves his gun from where it was stuck to the bottom of a drawer.The sorceress Elianna takes Granger through a magical portal  Immediately he shoots another of the hooded figures.
More of them attack, but Elianna comes to Granger’s aid.

She opens a portal and takes Granger to what Boll thinks passes for the Middle Ages before being stabbed to death herself.  The next scene is so confusing that I’m not even going to try and explain it.  I’ve watched it several times and I still don’t know what’s supposed to have happened.

King Raven of Polystyrene Castle

The ruins of a castle made of styrofoamWith the character that Boll built up so heavily now dead, Granger somehow ends up in the ruins of a styrofoam castle.  Barely conscious, Granger sees a vision of Elianna telling him what amounts to a strange mix of generic chosen-one bollocks and insane gibberish.  I’ve seen the whole movie and what she says still makes no sense.

“I have passed from this world.  Remember who you’re meant to be.  Remember that you must return to this place.  It was my prophecy to die for you.  It is your destiny… to be here.”

“It was my prophecy to die for you”?  Don’t you mean your “fate”?  Like I said, complete gibberish.  The soldiers bring Granger to King Raven, whose crown looks like it’s made of plastic.  Granger is told to “stand when the king enters,” and immediately upon seeing him, the king puts his dagger to an existing wound on Granger’s face and then licks the blood from the blade.  Granger remarks,

“That’s not cool.”

And the king replies,

“Indeed!  It is warm.”

Modern Slang and Utter Gibberish

King Raven tells Granger that he is the Chosen One from the futureThis running joke about people not understanding Granger’s modern slang will become very grating very quickly.  King Raven announces that it is the blood of the Chosen One, to which Granger has as little reaction as he’s had to most anything else thus far.  Raven explains that his soldiers were instructed to ensure Granger was not taken by the “Dark One” at the “Enchanted Place,” and somehow I still have no idea what anyone’s talking about.  The king asks Granger what people call him in his time.  In response to the answer, Raven says that it’s “a most unusual name,” and Granger responds with,

“Yeah?  You’d be surprised how many times it got me laid.”

All things considered, this line makes Granger seem like a complete asshole.  He’s just traveled through time and all he can think to do is boast of how many women he’s shagged?  And that he thought it an appropriate retort to such an innocent remark makes him seem like even more of a jerk.  Confused, King raven asks,

“Laid?  What… what is ‘laid’?”

Because it makes sense that, in the midst of all Lundgren’s mumbled modern slang, someone in the Middle Ages wouldn’t understand a Medieval term, doesn’t it?!  And while I’m at it, wouldn’t it make more sense if instead of thinking the name Granger is unusual, Raven had assumed him to actually be a farmer?  From here, things start to make even less sense.  Granger gets into a fight with Allard, the captain of the guard, and Raven says that,

“There is enough darkness beyond… without casting stones from within!”

And with lines like,

“We are all the same man underneath our cloth.”

And

“Selflessness is a trait common amongst the uncommon, Granger.”

Lochlyn Munro, wearing a wig and plastic crown, portrays the light-hearted King Raven.The film has succeeded in making Raven out to be the wisest, most composed person in the story.  His only real shortcoming seems to be that he’s a bit snotty, but our “hero” Granger is way more snotty!  And despite Raven being the closest thing the film has to a likeable character, we’re stuck following an asshole Rex-Quon-Do instructor.

Past-Tense

King Raven begins telling Granger of how things work in his time, and just as in the time-travel plot in My Immortal, he speaks about his own time in the past tense as though he too were from the future, which he’s not.  It is at this point that I’d explain what’s supposed to be going on in this story, but all the exposition is so confusing that even after watching the film twice I’ve no bloody inkling.

The Chosen One and the Prostitute

After learning nothing from Raven, Granger is dragged to his quarters by two altogether unneeded armed guards.  On the way there, Allard holds a dagger to his neck and threatens him, making sure to say “hung” when the correct past-tense would be “hanged.”  Granger responds in as flippant a manner as we’ve come to expect from him, and Allard vows to kill him one day.  I still don’t know what motivates any of these characters.  In his quarters, Granger begins an incredibly stupid inner monologue that winds up being entirely pointless:

“I began my day with a protein shake and now I’m standing in a Medieval sleeping hut.  Acid trips don’t get this weird… or maybe they do—I wouldn’t know.  No water purification to speak of.  Jeez—there’s gotta be everything from e-coli to dead sheep floatin’ around in this stuff.  When in Rome…”

I’m not going to bother listing all the ways in which this film is inaccurate to the Middle Ages; we don’t have all day.  It turns out there’s a prostitute in his bed, and she introduces herself thusly:

“It is my honour to share your bed.”

Granger meets with a prostitute after travelling back in time.The rest of her dialogue mainly consists of repeating that one line with slight variations.  Granger decides he’s too tired for a shag, so she offers to “keep his bed with him for warmth.”  He agrees to this, and while a physician treats him, she says,

“He will lay with me for warmth but not for pleasure—nor does he require the use of a man.”

Granger clarifies,

“Tired… and straight.”

Manhattan mends Granger's wounds.The rest of the dialogue in the scene makes absolutely no sense, so I’ll not waste my time trying to discern its meaning.  After that pointless scene, Granger lies in bed beside the prostitute and goes to sleep.  While he sleeps, he sees a load of visions that make no sense—and they’ll never make sense.

He wakes up just as the prostitute tries to stab him in the head with a dagger.  He throws her off the bed and somehow this makes her stab herself.  She states quite simply that her wound is fatal, and when asked why she tried to kill him, she says that she did so on the orders of someone called the “Holy Mother.”  And to answer your question, this will never make sense; in fact it will make less sense later in the film.  She dies, just managing to give us more confusing dialogue.  This will have nothing to do with the rest of the plot.

Another Talk With Raven

Allard examines the body of a dead prostitute/would-be assassin.Allard and his men enter the bedchamber almost immediately, and among the unintelligible dialogue I discerned only that King Raven wants to speak with Granger.  Back in Raven’s outdoor throne room, the king calls Granger’s surviving the attempt on his life “fortuitous,” and Granger says that “Lady Luck” must be on his side.  Raven, on the other hand, takes offence at this.

“Blasphemy!  Your life is whole because the prophecy decrees it to be… such.”

“The prophecy decrees it”?  I don’t think Uwe Boll knows how prophecies work.  They don’t “decree”; they foretell.  All the dialogue in this movie is incredibly awkward and unnatural.  Granger decides he’s “sick of everybody riffing about that prophecy” and declares:

“You can take that prophecy and shove it up your ass!”

Raven draws his dagger and holds it up to Granger’s face, saying,

“Never… have I been spoken to… in such a manner.”

Well, this is an utter departure from everything we’ve been shown of his character thus far!  When we first met Raven, he was calm and collected, and now his fuse seems just as short as that of everyone else in this thing.  Then he laughs and says he finds Granger’s insolence “oddly refreshing.”  It’s like all these characters have Multiple Personality Disorder!  Then Raven has one of his servants pour Granger a goblet of wine, and we get even more dialogue I can’t understand.

Granger’s Quest Begins

Eventually we get a tidbit of exposition that actually makes some small amount of sense, as Raven tells Granger about the kingdom’s previous ruler, who is implied to have been Farmer from the first film.  Apparently the “Dark Ones,” savage cannibals who carry a plague in their blood and serve the Holy Mother, attacked the kingdom and King Farmer fell in battle.  Then the king reveals to Granger that he is the one chosen to kill the Holy Mother.  Granger agrees to seek her out.

“Well, maybe this is just mental exhaustion talking or maybe I’m just sick of people chasin’ me down—tryin’ to kill me, but…  Tell me where to find this crazy bitch.”

Uwe Boll cuts abruptly to a shot of an old woman, who says,

“Yes.”

Manhattan the Healer

Then it cuts from that pointlessness back to the castle.  I don’t know why that was in the film.  After around thirty seconds of nothing, the physician goes into Granger’s chambers for some reason.  Her name is Manhattan, and it’s just about the least Medieval-sounding name one can think of.  Not only is it derived from the name of an Algonquian tribe (having therefore no connection to Medieval Europe), but it’s also the most American place name that’s ever existed!  Naming her Manhattan just makes Boll’s attempt at a Medieval-esque world seem even less authentic.  She starts searching the pockets of his jacket and pulls out a bottle of pills.  Since Boll apparently can’t stay focused on anything for longer a minute, we cut back to Raven talking at Granger.

“You shall eat like a king and fight like the god of war himself.”

Earlier in the film, Raven said several times that they were “men of god.”  Of course one of the few things this thing has in common with the first movie has to be its inconsistent mythology!

Granger Shags Manhattan

Granger finds the healer Manhattan rummaging through his things.After refusing the offer of a better weapon because he “only needs his knife” and kicking a chicken for no reason during his lecture on salmonella, Granger returns to his quarters to find Manhattan as she fails to open his pill-bottle.  It is here that we first hear her idiotic catchphrase, delivered so poorly that it’s almost funny:

“Sons of whores!”

Granger tells Manhattan that in his time doctors can sometimes sew an arm back on, and she says that the information pleases her.  Manhattan storms out of the room because the king has decreed that she must go on the quest with Granger.Granger the time-traveller shags a healer in the (pseudo-) Middle Ages.  Almost immediately afterwards, Manhattan reenters the room and says that, in case they should die on their quest, she doesn’t want to die “unfulfilled” and they immediately shag.  Then Manhattan leaves, having “satisfied her urges.”  This will have absolutely nothing to do with anything later in the film.

We get another cutaway to the Holy Mother doing nothing, and then it’s back to Granger, who’s been summoned to listen to the seer.  On the way there, he makes fun of Allard, implying that women don’t like him.  The seer, as it turns out, says nothing that’s important.  Instead, she spouts only poorly-acted “words-of-wisdom” and cryptic prophecies that are actually meaningless.

Allard the Maniac

Manhattan orders the squabbling Granger and Allard to desist in the king's "decree."Granger and his company depart from the castle and ride through the forest towards the Holy Mother’s camp.  Along the way, they are ambushed by Dark Ones, and so begins a fight scene that harkens back to the dreadful editing of the first film.  After the battle, Granger tries to interrogate a wounded enemy, but Allard stabs him before he can talk.  Granger calls him a maniac and Manhattan shouts,

“Desist!  In the king’s decree, desist!”

That line wasn’t far from being gibberish.  With Allard still grinning like the maniac he is, Manhattan continues.  This time, instead of broken English, she gives us a terrible delivery.

“Desist!  We have wounded!  There are wounded!”

Consistency?  What’s That?

After more dialogue consisting of meaningless sentences that Boll thought sounded old-fashioned, we cut to Raven mixing a potion—then back to Granger’s company.  Almost immediately, Allard begs Granger’s forgiveness for having “acted in haste.”  Then it cuts away again, and it is revealed that Raven, the closest thing to a decent person in this movie, is actually the villain, and he kills the seer for no clear reason.

The Death of Allard

Granger’s company make camp for the night and are attacked in the morning by dark ones.  Allard decides to sacrifice himself, although I don’t know why.  When Granger protests, Allard kicks him down the hill, and then Manhattan throws herself down the hill after him in a clear rip-off of a scene from The Princess Bride (except that in that movie it made sense).Allard is run through with a sword.  Allard gets run through from behind with the enemy leader’s sword, calls him a coward, and then dies.  Well, that rules out every good explanation for his actions thus far.

The film cuts back to King Raven with a guard at the crime scene, and the king expresses mock disgust at the seer’s murder.  He demands that the murderer be found and brought to him.

“Sons of Whores!”

Natassia Malthe slurs her lines as Manhattan the Medieval healer.
“Sons of whores… I have failed you.”

Now back with Granger and Manhattan, it seems they’re the only two of the company that survived.  A bottle of poison cracks and Manhattan throws it in the water, which apparently renders it harmless.  While she explains it, one is struck by how unbelievably bad her delivery is on every line.  As they continue their trek, Manhattan trips and sprains her ankle.  As her dialogue sounds increasingly like a drunk Tommy Wiseau, she says in a monotone,

“Sons of whores…  I have failed you.”

Grammatical Anachronism

Before Granger continues alone, Manhattan gives him a charm, doing linguistic backflips to follow a latin grammar rule that wasn’t even applied to English till long after the Middle Ages.

“If you believe what I do, it is a protective talismæn—perhaps more.  If you don’t believe what I do… it is still something beautiful… at which to look.”

In case you weren’t aware, Shakespeare was long dead by the time anyone suggested that the terminal preposition was a bad thing.  Moving on.

Exposition From the Holy Mother

Two more stupid inner monologues from Granger later, our dim-witted chosen one arrives at the Dark Ones’ camp.  No one makes any attempt to stop Granger from entering the Holy Mother’s tent, and it turns out that Raven lied to Granger.  The Holy Mother and her followers are the good guys and Raven was the one who unleashed the plague upon the kingdom, killing the previous ruler and usurping the throne.  In addition, the dark one that Granger shot in his house at the beginning of the film was actually the Holy Mother, who was dressed in the same uniform as the assassins for some reason, so he’s already fulfilled the bit in the prophecy about killing her.

And Of Course He’s the King!

The Holy Mother reveals the identity of a traitor.The Holy Mother continues her story, and because this is a crappy portal-fantasy film, she reveals that Granger is the long-lost son of King Farmer and is therefore the king of their land.  I can’t remember any earlier mention of his having grown up in an orphanage, but apparently the Holy Mother traveled to the future and brought him to one as an infant.  In a scene I’m sure was an afterthought in an (unsuccessful) attempt to mend plot-holes, the Holy Mother also reveals that the dark ones who tried to kill Granger were under the command of her traitorous captain, whom granger quickly dispatches.  It hardly needs mentioned that that captain’s supposed motivation was as insane as you’d expect from one of Boll’s characters.

Dunyana the Pointless

The Holy Mother has a conveniently-timed vision and tells Granger that Raven plans to travel into the future and unleash his plague to destroy the world.  It’s never explained why Raven wants to destroy the world, but it’s probably for the same reason he’ll soon begin killing his own men at the slightest provocation.  As the Holy Mother dies, we get an utterly mental conversation about destiny, and then a young woman shows up out of nowhere to answer what is likely the least inane question Granger’s asked this whole time.  After telling him once more that he is the king and must lead his people, the Holy Mother dies.  Immediately the woman from out of nowhere introduces herself as Dunyana and the scene ends.

Granger and Dunyana attend the cremation of the Holy Mother.A funeral is held for the Holy Mother while I try to figure out why it took so little convincing for Granger to believer her story over Raven’s.  After more gibberish, Granger must enter the Black Forest to find some unknown object called the “catalyst,” which he must do alone for no particular reason with no knowledge of what it is.  It’s around this point that Granger starts thinking that everything he hears is “refreshing” for some reason.  In our other plot-thread, Raven kills one of his spies for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Wait!  What Just Happened?

King Granger declares Dunyana to be his heir on a whim.As Granger prepares to enter the Black Forest, he realizes that Dunyana is the Holy Mother’s daughter.  Why was she not introduced as her daughter?  I don’t know!  It has nothing to do with anything.  Granger asks who will take the throne once he has returned to his own time, and Dunyana tells him that since he has no children he must choose his heir.  After only a single brief conversation with her, Granger picks Dunyana to be the new queen.  When she protests that she cannot accept this honour, he replies,

“You can and you will.  I have decreed it.  Hey, listen, guys!  I’ve decreed it!”

Is this movie almost over?  Please tell me it’s almost over!  Apparently it’s forbidden to touch a king, which makes me wonder how vassals are meant to swear fealty if the king can’t press their hands together.  In any case, Granger finally accepts a proper sword in place of his tiny dagger.  They all bow before him and he enters the Black Forest.

The Dragon in the Black Forest

King Raven stands with a bloody knife, having killed another of his own soldiers.Raven kills another of his own soldiers and goes in search of Granger, who’s busy with another blasted inner monologue.  Once that’s finished, he comes face-to-face with an extremely odd-looking dragon.  Just asAn odd-looking CGI dragon standing in a forest. the dragon approaches Granger, Manhattan shows up out of nowhere to distract it.  Granger fills Manhattan in on how Raven is the real villain, and hearing it summed up just makes the whole thing sound even more ridiculous.

“It seems like he’s responsible for spreading a plague—orchestrating a coup against the king before.  Now I have to find the catalyst and save this world—and the time beyond—because I’m the king before’s son.”

Again, why did it take so little convincing for Granger to believe all this‽  It sounds like it was made up by Uwe Boll—oh, wait…

Captured by King Raven the Usurper

The Catalyst Dragon eats one of King Raven's followers.Granger and Manhattan run into Raven’s men but are saved by the dragon, who almost comically tears the soldiers limb from limb.  None of them even try to avoid getting killed; one of them even runs deliberately into the dragon’s fire-breath.  They flee to the edge of the forest, and Granger insists that he must go back in to search for the catalyst.  He never gets the chance, however, as a company of soldiers emerge from behind rocks and encircle them.  One such soldier can be heard saying,

“You better run!”

Why, Uwe Boll?  Why?  When Manhattan accuses Raven of having conjured the plague, Raven warns her that he is still her king, to which she says,

“You are the true villain of this tale!”

Manhattan the healer accuses her king of regicide.Well, at least she didn’t say something even stupider like “No!  You are a curse to the throne!”  Raven responds by knocking her, and then Granger, unconscious, promising to hang their entrails from the fortress gate by nightfall.  Why doesn’t he just kill them both now?  Because he’s every idiotic villain in every dumb movie—that’s why!  When they’ve almost reached the fortress and have woken up on their horses, Manhattan proclaims to the men,

“This man is your rightful king—the king before’s son—on the life of my mother!”

Only to get a slap to the face from Raven, who declares that he’s going to kill them both where they stand.  Again, why didn’t he do that when he first captured them?  Granger manages to get free of his bonds and do the same for Manhattan, and now that they’re surrounded, she says,

“It was an honour to fight by your side and lay with you as your woman.”

Granger and Manhattan surrounded by enemies.Glad to know that sex really is all these assholes ever think about!  And while I’m on the subject, “as your woman”?  They just met!  “As your one-night-stand,” more like!  Of course the dragon attacks Raven’s men again, saving Granger and Manhattan.  Raven rides away, and we learn through a line of cretinous exposition that he plans to open a portal into “the time beyond” and unleash the plague there.  Why?  I have no idea.

It’s Almost Over…  Just Breathe…

Raven’s men swarm into their tiny polystyrene fortress as the dragon attacks those still outside.  For some reason Dunyana and her soldiers are right there, which makes me wonder why they didn’t ambush Raven when they saw him with their king held captive.  The dragon obliterates the gates of the fortress, and with almost no explanation of how she came to the conclusion, Dunyana realizes that the dragon is the catalyst.

“Our sister has brought down their walls; the dragon is the catalyst.  The catalyst!  We hold!”

A peasant flails around while on fire.Hold?  You mean you’re not going to do anything?  Then why were you there in the first place?  Meanwhile, the dragon who is supposedly on the good side perches atop the fortress walls and starts spewing fire upon all the innocent peasants.  After seeming to take pleasure in killing all the innocents, the dragon flies off, and Dunyana finally decides it’s time to bloody do something, and with the uninspired battlecry of,

“Our time!  Our time!”

Dunyana's army charges forth.The dark ones storm the fortress, which is garrisoned with so many soldiers that I can only assume the dragon must have killed the peasants selectively, being very careful to minimize actual enemy casualties.  In the midst of all the mindless slaughter, Dunyana stands still and smiles, and that’s the last we ever see of her.

Back to Vancouver

Raven reaches the river where he intends to open a portal, yet Granger and Manhattan aren’t far behind in their pursuit of him.  Manhattan informs Granger of something that she couldn’t possibly know:

“He secrets two vials on his person at all times.  Two!  Go!”

How could she have known that?  She only found out a few hours ago that Raven created the plague, and yet she speaks as though she’d known it all along.  Somehow we are meant to believe that she knows where he keeps the poison that she only just found out about, but even Granger is more likely to know about this!  Raven opens the portal and hurls one of his two vials in their direction.  Manhattan catches it and the glass remains unbroken, but Raven enters the portal with the other vial, and Granger pursues him through to his own time.

Worst… Climax… Ever!

Granger the Chosen One finally faces off against the tyrant Raven.In Granger’s house, Raven picks up a flashlight to use as a weapon, and the moment Granger returns through the portal he lands a blow on his head.  If he has a sword, then why didn’t he use that instead of the flashlight?  That might actually have killed Granger instead of just stunning him for a moment!  If he doesn’t have a sword, then why the hell didn’t he bring one?  Granger brandishes a knife and slowly follows the defenceless RavenMoving into the kitchen, Granger picks up an iron frying pan and, after a few moments of fighting with the flashlight-armed king, wallops him across the face with it.  Somehow this doesn’t knock him out, so Granger grabs a kitchen knife, which far outmatches the small dagger that Raven’s using now.  Despite this, Granger—a sensei of Rex Kwon Do, mind you—only slowly walks towards his enemy, landing the occasional mocking cut like the killer in a slasher film.

The Battle of Granger’s Bog

Granger punches Raven halfway up the stairs.Even as Raven crawls slowly up the stairs, Granger just follows him slowly with his knife, punching him once at the halfway point and then just letting him continue.  Once they reach the second floor (which is suspiciously not strewn with the dead bodies from earlier in the film), Granger easily overpowers Raven and drags him into the bathroom, where the tub has somehow not overflowed.  Raven tries to break his second vial, but Granger just as easily pries it from his fingers, stuffs it in the usurper’s mouth, forces Raven’s head into the bathtub, and holds him under the water till he drowns.The usurper Raven lying dead and bleeding in the bathwater.

That was one of the worst “climactic” duels I’ve ever seen; Granger always has the upper hand so there’s no suspense as to who’s going to kill the other—we already know that Raven doesn’t stand a chance.  Indeed, Granger passes on numerous opportunities to kill Raven quickly, and it becomes quite clear he’s hard-set on killing him in the most brutal way he can.  We’ve no investment in any of these characters, particularly as our hero is an awful person, so there’s really no other source of suspense to be found here.  Instead, we just get the same sort of bizarre anticlimax that Uwe Boll is famous for.

The Anticlimax Concludes (or doesn’t)

Dolph Lundgren sits down and has a drink.After killing Raven, Granger just leaves his body in the tub and returns to his study, where he finishes his drink from earlier, and that’s the end of the film!  Once again, Boll gives us absolutely no resolution whatsoever.  We never see what happens in the world where most of the story took place, and Granger never goes back to take his place on the throne, making me wonder why the story needed him to be the rightful king in the first place.  The hero just going back to their normal life with nothing having changed is quite possibly the worst trope in portal fantasy—it’s certainly one of the most irritating—and of course this film, portal fantasy at its worst, had to check it off the list.  As bad as this trope is in other works of the genre, Uwe Boll has taken it to a new low.  We do get a short and incoherent monologue that feels like sequel-bait:

“We did it.  Will I ever see you again?  What is it you said?  ‘Perhaps in my dreams tonight.  Perhaps another time…’  Perhaps another time… ”

The problem, however, is that the third film has even less to do with this film than this had to do with the first!  We will never find out what happens to any of these characters whom we don’t care about—just as we’ll never learn the fates of all the characters from the original (whom we also don’t care about).  As though it weren’t enough that every line of dialogue in the film is utterly void of meaning; even when the words form sentences, the sentences don’t form ideas or concepts!  It seems as though whenever Boll didn’t know the right word, he just used “decree” as a placeholder.  All the characters—even Granger, a time traveller—sound the same, slurring their lines like Tommy Wiseau pumped full of mead.

We’ve Gotten Nowhere

Now it comes to it, the characters are awful.  Few get any development, and most of them are thrown abruptly into the story and leave just as quickly.  Perhaps the perfect example is Dunyana, who shows up out of nowhere, is named heir to the throne, fights in a battle whose conclusion we never see, and nothing else; we never see her or anyone else again after Granger and Raven return to “the time beyond.”  What happens to her, Manhattan, the dragon catalyst, the people suffering from the plague, or any of the other sub-plots that Boll inflicted upon us?  And what about Granger, our main character?  Surely we should know that something has at least changed since the beginning!  Instead the film begins with a depressed Granger drinking a glass of scotch… and ends with a depressed Granger drinking a glass of scotch.

What’s the point of letting all these plots go unresolved if when you make a sequel it doesn’t resolve any of them?  I think the ending is the worst part of Uwe Boll’s “style”; his movies are terrible throughout, but they always manage to fall apart at the end.  There are no “endings” in these films; they just sort of fizzle out and fade to credits.  Without fail, one is left wondering what the bloody hell they just sat through.  What else can I say but…  Sons of whores!  This movie sucks!

2 thoughts on ““In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds” Review

  1. Strangely enough, I found this second ITNOTK (itnot for short?) much more watchable than the first. I thought Raven’s actual method of death (execution?) was clever – if not a little contrived – in the use of neutralizing water.

    Another point I’d make is that the first film isn’t “in the past” like this movie suggests, but rather in a fantasy medieval-ish realm so connecting itnot#1 to itnot#2 is silly. Or was itnot#2 travelling to the fantasy realm and not the past – I’m so confused!

    Good article.

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