Tag Archives: Dolph Lundgren

In the Name of the King: Two Worlds (2011)

In-The-Name-of-the-King-2
Man, this poster makes the film look so much more badass than it is.

“Fight to the End”

Directed by Uwe Boll Starring Dolph Lundgren

Ex-Special Forces nice guy Granger (Lundgren) is rescued from ninjas by a sorceress, who dies, but not before taking him into a mediaeval fantasy world where he is prophesied to battle an evil witch.

Or IS HE!

What’s wrong with it?

Losing the Dungeon Siege license, Uwe Boll creates an alleged sequel to In the Name of the King which is no such beast, but actually a shaky crossworlds fantasy jaunt, with Dolph Lundgren in the role usually given to a plucky schoolboy or hopelessly romantic librarian.

Lundgren was a powerful man in his day, but years of action have taken their toll and here he is just ponderous, his body apparently so battered that he can barely move. I’m sure he was better in The Expendables, so it may be a matter of having enough time in the shoot for him to limber up. The fact that his only expression remains the ever-popular dull surprise is no help, especially given that he’s given the role of narrator.

The twist in the tale is poorly concealed, yet makes little sense. The film as a whole is also much longer than I expected, denying it even the virtue of brevity.

What’s right with it?

The Seer – a crazy woman living in a tree – is pretty creepy, and the stab-happy king, who seems to have some sort of compulsion to shiv up his own people, is awesome in a crazy kind of way.

How bad is it really?

The film reeks of complete pointlessness. The plot is hackneyed, twists and all, and for much of the duration the internal motivations of the characters seem to be ‘hey, stuff needs to happen so let’s chase Dolph until it does’.

Best bit (if such there is)?

Manly McRoyalguard tries to get Granger to let him buy time to escape, and when Granger won’t run just up and kicks him off a cliff.

What’s up with…?

  • Granger’s bland acceptance of everything that happens to him?
  • All these women throwing themselves at Granger? It’s not as if there are any actual sex scenes.
  • The entirely random role of women in this pseudo-mediaeval society? ‘Bed-warmer’ sits oddly alongside ‘trained physician’.
  • The bizarre quasi-ye olde dialogue? It mostly seems to be there so that people can misunderstand Granger’s modern idiom, but it’s horribly forced.
  • Dr Manhattan? It’s a strange name for a pseudo-mediaeval physic.

Ratings

Production values – The film lacks any of the redeeming qualities of the original, like good lighting and clear audio. Conversations are as often as not talking heads to keep the reshoots down and the choreography is second string at its best. 14
Dialogue and performances –  Lundgren is the heart of the film, and he misses most of his beats. It’s not easy to blame him, however, given the godawful material he is given to work with. 16
Plot and execution – The plot is dull, the characters unconvincing, and the film shambles ploddingly on without pace or vavavoom. 15
Randomness – The bad Shakespearean dialogue, the terrible and pointless narration; the lack of any real direction in the film actually makes chunks of the main plot into randomness. 13
Waste of potential – After what was Uwe Boll’s finest, this is a let down even from him. 12

Overall 70%

From the Archive – Sweepers (1999)

sweepers

 

“He walks where other men fear.”

Directed by Keoni Waxman
Starring Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Payne and Claire Stansfield

I don’t think I can really say it better than the back of the DVD box, which I copy here verbatim:

“Torn from today’s headlines “SWEEPERS” is a non-stop, high-octane explosive thriller set in war-ravaged Angolia (they do in fact mean Angola). Christian Erickson (DOLPH LUNDGREN) eke’s out a living by taking on all-comers in bloody and vicious, no holds barred barefist fights but is also one of the world’s leading land-mine experts and is called in by the Pentagon when a super advanced A-6 land mineis utilised in a terrorist attack on a United States Senator.

“The rebellious Erickson has no respect for authority and refuses to help, until Bomb Squad expert Michelle Flynn uncovers a sinister and far-reaching plot to ship a bulk load of the world’s most deadly mines back to the USA, and begs Erickson for help in preventing a potential disaster in the USA.

“In the interests of national security she entrusts Erickson with only the bare outlines of the plot (as does the film, it seems), sufficient enough to grab his attention, and together they battle against overwhelming odds (three really crap South African mercenaries) as each sinister element of the conspiracy unfolds and they move ever closer to uncovering the real and totally unexpected villain behind the deadly scheme.”

Imagine my disappointment when the ‘totally unexpected villain’ turned out to be Bruce Payne, and not Pope John-Paul II after all.

What’s wrong with it?

Well, aside from everything the synopsis implies – although it is in fact wildly inaccurate in places, as well as grammatically pretty poor – the film is really dull. It’s kind of a non-start, unleaded snoozer really. It also treats its audience as if they were abject dolts, feeling it necessary to remind us every three seconds that Erickson is fucked- up because his kid got blowed away by a landmine. The weird Angolan soundtrack is frankly scary, Bruce Payne couldn’t be the unexpected villain unless you could afford to have Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken as red herrings, and the characters are all boring.

The mine also makes no damn sense – it requires power, and can be deactivated either by a concealed lever underneath or the big-ass off switch on top, and has an immensely variable effect.

What’s right with it?

Nothing.

How bad is it really?

It was so dull, I’d be pressed to remember how bad it was; which can’t be good.

Best bit?

Once more, this has no real contenders in this field.

What’s up with…?

  • The battery-powered funky mine of suckness, with its plethora of moving parts?
  • Erickson’s former outfit, the Humanitarian Knights of Chivalry?
  • Erickson bringing his son to Angola in the first place? Okay, he doesn’t mean to bring him to the minefield, but if he’s a minesweeper in Angola, for him to get custody his ex-wife must be a Nazi crack-whore or something.
  • Erickson’s personal citation from Lady Di?

Ratings

Production values: Low, low prices mean low, low quality. A few explosions, but nothing to really write home about, and shoddy editing to boot. 15

Dialogue and performances: Not tooth-grindingly bad, just utterly unmemorable. 13

Plot and execution: Zero tension, zero surprises, and every crass emotional short-cut in the book. 16

Randomness: Yeah, there’s some, but mostly the film is too dull to be random. The worst is the framing text, which tries to make out this is a serious political thriller about landmines. 13

Waste of potential: Any action film this dull could have been better. 15

Overall 72%

From the Archive – Dark Angel (aka I Come in Peace) (1990)

Angel

 

“Good cop. Bad alien. Big trouble.”

Directed by Craig R. Baxley
Starring Dolph Lundgren

An alien lands on earth and steals a whole bunch of heroine. Then he goes round ODing people and harvesting their endorphins, to take back to his world and sell as the ultimate drug. He is pursued by an alien cop, and by Earth cop Jack Kane (Lundgren) and his ever-so-slightly dodgy FBI partner. That’s more or less it for plot.

What’s wrong with it?

Dark Angel is Men in Black Lite. It’s pretty low on ideas, and more than a little sloppy in execution. Much of it is confusing, and many of the characters don’t have much to do. In particular, the love interest coroner barely shows up for half the film, then gets in on the final chase/fight sequence, only to do bugger all. The fights are fairly duff, mostly involving aliens firing big guns at each other and stuff exploding behind people. Also, the alien drug dealer’s funky heroine injector/endorphin extractor gauntlet just isn’t cool enough to bear showing us the same sequence four or five times.

What’s right with it?

Not much really, although from the studio’s point of view it was probably fairly cheap to make.

How bad is it really?

It doesn’t stink; it’s just really dull.

Best bit?

Dodgy FBI partner tries to remove a spinny disc that just keeps killing from the magnet of a stereo speaker, at which point it zips around the room and breaks stuff. It’s pretty naff, but probably one of the better scenes.

What’s up with…?

  • Jack Kane’s swish-ass bachelor pad? I doubt he paid for that on a cop’s salary.

Ratings

Production Values – Second – or maybe third – string. It’s all fairly cheap, with even the space guns being all muzzle flare and things exploding, but not too obtrusively naff. 13

Dialogue and Performances – So-so. I mean, not stinky, but nothing particularly distinguished. Kudos for the fact that even the one-line extras do seem able to deliver a sentence with a little feeling. 12

Plot and Execution – Flimsy. Good alien, bad alien; good cop, dodgy cop. Obtrusive non-sex love interest. The yuppy drug dealer who just gets ignored in amongst all the alien stuff, despite the fact that he killed the lead character’s partner. There are a lot of threads in Dark Angel, most of which don’t get much airtime, or have many links to the rest of the story. 16

Randomness – Aside from the oscillating plot elements, there isn’t too much randomness. 8

Waste of Potential – There have definitely been better alien criminal running amok on the earth films made, but there have also been worse. 13

Overall 62%