It’s finally about to be over! The first In the Name of the King film was high fantasy at its very worst, the second was portal fantasy at its worst, and for some reason I don’t want to understand, Uwe Boll decided to make a third bollocks film in this awful, awful series. This one, called either “In the Name of the King Ⅲ: The Last Mission” or, more appropriately, “In the Name of the King 3: The Last Job,” has as much to do with the other two films as the second has to do with the first.
It strikes me that, throughout these three films, not a single plot-thread from the first film—or the second—has been resolved in any sense of the word. Nonetheless, it has more in common with Two Worlds than with A Dungeon Siege Tale, being a pathetic excuse for portal fantasy rather than high fantasy.
One Hour of Pain
Having seen but one minute of this last instalment, I already wanted it to be over. In the Name of the King: The Last Mission is unequivocally worse than the second film. Indeed, I think this one is the absolute worst in the series! I don’t know how Boll managed to make a film worse than the other two, but somehow he took every sparse redeeming quality they had and purged the final chapter of all such things. What we’re left with is a shaky-cam abomination that I am overjoyed never to have to watch again.
This thing, which feels longer than its brief one-hour runtime, follows the adventure of a modern-day assassin who wants out of the mob. He is sent back to the Middle Ages and has a stupid, boring adventure, after which he returns to his own time, having suffered no character development whatsoever. Granted, it has more of an ending than the other films in the series, but its horrid… well… everything more than makes up for that.
One Last Job
Hazen Kaine, played by Dominic Purcell (whom I’ve never heard of), is a sickening mix of vacuous and unlikeable. The first scene in the film consists of Hazen carrying out the most boring assassination I’ve ever seen and then getting his fingerprints all over his victim’s coffee machine as he pours and drinks an agonizingly slow cup of coffee.
Immediately after the dull opening credits, Hazen goes on a clichéd “one-last-job” for the mob. This job consists of kidnapping two children for ransom; apparently they’re princesses, but there is absolutely nothing to suggest that they’re royalty other than a passing remark. Indeed, later in the film they threaten Hazen that “daddy and his friends” will get him if he doesn’t return them. What about the Royal Guard? Does it not constitute a state of national emergency in Uwe Boll’s version of Bulgaria when the heirs to the throne get kidnapped? Is this a regular occurrence? The answer: it’s Uwe Boll… It’s Uwe Boll…
He agrees to go on this “one-last-job,” but he worries briefly that he won’t be able to get to them. The boss assures him, however, that he’ll be able to do this because he’s “the best.” The fingerprints on the coffee machine disagree, but I want this thing to be over so I’ll just ignore it. So that things will make yet less sense in this thing, it turns out that the children of the royal family are guarded by only one inept chauffeur, whom Hazen easily dispatches when they’re on their way home from preparatory school. The younger of the two hugs him because apparently she thinks he looks sad; as stupid as this scene is, all I can think of is that Purcell looks more bored than sad to me. He steals a necklace off one of the girls and then locks them both in a freight container.
Arabella and Emeline
After proving beyond doubt that he’s an asshole, Hazen looks at the necklace and realizes that it resembles a tattoo he has on his arm. For some reason, holding the talisman sends him back in time. He lands in Medieval Bulgaria and wanders around till he finds a town being attacked by a dragon. A man gets set on fire right in front of Hazen, who promptly does nothing to try to help him, instead pulling out his gun and running for cover. This would have been the perfect opportunity to show that the protagonist of the story isn’t a complete sociopath, but instead of saving someone who would have been easy to save, he decides to save himself. He and two princesses called Arabella and Emeline find cover in a wooden hovel, where the fire-breathing dragon apparently can’t get to them.
After the dragon leaves, the princesses drag Hazen along on their journey to see their shaman, all the while spouting exposition. On the road, they’re attacked by some of the usurper Tervin’s men, and the cinematography during the fight is even worse than in the first movie. Arabella captures one alive and demands he tell her if he was working for Tervin. She shouts, “Answer me!” and, without waiting for an answer, cuts the man’s throat.
Then it’s back to exposition, which I will summarize; Tervin is the uncle of Arabella and Emeline. Five years ago, he demanded that Arabella be forced to marry him, but his brother, the king, refused to force his own daughter into a marriage with her hated uncle. Tervin responded to this by killing the royal couple in their sleep and massacring half the population of the kingdom.
The Chosen Sociopath
The three arrive at the shaman’s dwelling, and this next scene just drags on and on. Every bit of his cryptic dialogue is utterly pointless. Prophecy… chosen one… blah…blah…blah! Moving on! Well, first the shaman tells Hazen that he must show courage before he can leave this time, but this comes right after the two princesses question his morality after hearing of his treatment of their modern counterparts. Hazen has never shown any lack of courage; what he lacks is compassion, empathy, and care for those other than himself. When you establish the protagonist from the start as a cold-blooded killer, you must work all the harder to show that he’s not just a murderous sociopath, but I see no evidence that Hazen is any more then that.
King Tervin Attacks
It is at this point that we’re actually introduced to King Tervin, the villain of the film. I had to clarify that he’s the villain because Hazen is such a horrible person that you’d be forgiven for not knowing the difference. Tervin kills one of his own men for no reason, demands that his men bring him Arabella alive, and summons a dragon to do precisely what he just ordered his men to do, and then we cut to the next horrible scene. Now, you may be thinking that the two Medieval princesses might have something to do with the two that Hazen kidnapped, particularly as King Tervin is played by the same actor as the modern mob-boss. In fact he’s got tattoos that are obviously modern, and one might be tempted to think there’s an interesting twist coming. This is Uwe Boll, however, so there’ll be nothing of the sort.
The Battle in the Village
The dragon attacks our three main “characters” on the road, and Hazen is wounded. They flee into the forest, and the dragon doesn’t start launching fireballs at them. Cut to Tervin’s men attacking the shaman; he escapes. Cut to Arabella tending to Hazen’s wounds in the hut of Tybalt, her other uncle. There’s more bollocks about the prophecy and about how Hazen is the chosen one. For some reason Arabella can’t stand the asshole who kidnaps children and kills people for a living—I wonder why… Hazen and Arabella spar with swords, and Hazen—whom one can only assume has never picked up a sword in his life—is a match for someone who’s trained since childhood.
Then the village is attacked by Tervin’s men, and the camerawork is some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Every poorly-cut shot in the next few scenes is in shaky-cam, and I consequently have no idea what happens in the battle. After the battle ends—and I don’t even know who won!—Boll uses shaky-cam for every shot; even when people are walking calmly about the village, the camera shakes and I feel about to hurl!
Another Boll-Forced Romance
Hazen and Arabella go down to the river to fetch water, and Hazen tells Arabella about how his wife was killed. She tells him he’s a good person (since his actions certainly aren’t saying it), and immediately they start making out! This seems to be a trend with Boll’s films; characters with no chemistry or liking for each other are railroaded into being romantic interests over the course of about a minute, and then it amounts to little more than a one-night-stand that fills out the running time.
The cameraman apparently suffered a fatal heart attack while filming, because I can’t think of any other reason for the camera to shake so horribly while the main characters discuss their strategy. O, whom am I kidding? This was all Uwe Boll’s doing; he’s the one who thought it would be a good idea for every shot in the movie to make me feel ill! It’s certainly possible for a shaky camera to work well when used correctly, but it will never work when everyone’s just sitting at a bloody table. This scene goes on for far too long, and then the camera shakes as our “heroes” walk unhindered across a low bridge.
After a long scene of characters walking nowhere in particular, they arrive at a cave, which is supposed to be some sort of armoury. Arabella gives Hazen her father’s sword. Why? He’s never used a sword in his life till a day ago, he’s got no connection to the king whatsoever, and—worse than that—he’s an asshole! She, on the other hand, has trained with a sword her whole life, is the heir apparent to the throne, and is consequently the perfect choice to wield the sword of—if I must point out—her father! But whom am I kidding? This is Uwe Boll; she’ll be knocked out within three seconds of trying to fight the Big-Bad.
Out of Nowhere
The Princesses’ uncle Tybalt gives an unenthusiastic battle-speech, and the peasants groan their mild approval. Thus begins another horrible shaky-cam battle in the forest. Hazen, despite having only fought with a sword once the previous day, is more than a match for all Tervin’s trained soldiers. In the middle of the battle, a seemingly-“important” soldier comes out of bloody nowhere and exposits that he and Arabella have a significant history of which we’ve heard nothing. Hence, we get an incredibly stupid dialogue establishing this incredibly pointless character:
“You stood by and watched as that man you call king took my family from me. You deserve to die!”
What follows is some horribly-choreographed, horribly-edited, horribly-shot fighting, after which Arabella kills the soldier. This has nothing to do with anything!
The Final Duel
King Tervin arrives at the battle, and Tybalt proposes a duel between Tervin and Hazen. Then Tybalt nonchalantly walks by Tervin as though to say, “Stab me! Stab me!” and Tervin, of course, stabs him as he passes. Tervin flees the battle, and Hazen and Arabella pursue him to the least Medieval-looking ruin of which one can possibly conceive.
Just as with Muriella in the first film, Arabella is knocked out within the first five seconds, leaving Hazen to duel the usurper. Hazen stabs Tervin offscreen and, once Arabella wakes up, tells her of Tervin’s death even as Tervin is still stirring.
Hazen takes the medallion from Tervin’s corpse. This, for some reason, opens the portal immediately, and after a final snog with Arabella, Hazen returns to his own time. At the last second, however, the dragon follows him through the portal and lands atop a building. Then we get a stupid car-chase with the dragon, followed by Hazen killing his mob-boss and rescuing the modern princesses. He returns them to their father, who—for some reason I cannot fathom—lets Hazen go free after committing what I can only assume is high treason! Hazen walks off, and that’s the end of this thing.
Please Be Over (The Conclusion)
I don’t know quite what else there is to say about this thing! What else can one say about a film that does nothing right? That it has more of a resolution than its prequels doesn’t mean the resolution isn’t an unsatisfying mess. The closest thing to a redeeming quality it has is that it’s only an hour long; it hardly even counts as a movie, but it feels far longer. The writing is horrible. The characters are horrible. The camerawork is horrible. The editing is horrible. Everything else I can think of is horrible, and there’s too much wrong with this final instalment for me to even think of writing it all down. It is, without a doubt, the worst movie in this whole dreadful trilogy.