I’ll make it simple. Unless you’re a huge Dolph Lundgren fan, I recommend you skip In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds, director Uwe Boll’s latest direct-to-DVD release entirely.
When I saw the original a couple of years ago starring Jason Statham, I thought it would have been better if it was about an hour shorter, but enjoyed it despite the bad reviews. It wasn’t Shakespeare, but it was fun. So I thought that maybe the second one would be alright as well. It couldn’t be worse than the first one, could it? Boy was I wrong.
Even though I’ve stuck with Dolph through plenty of movies like Showdown in Little Tokyo with Brandon Lee and a version of Marvel Comics’ Punisher with Louis Gossett, Jr., In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds managed to be almost comical in some places and painful in others. Even though it’s much shorter than the first film, I wanted to turn it off after about twenty minutes.
Let’s start at the beginning — which briefly gave me hope for the rest of the movie. Running through the woods is Eliana (Natalia Guslistaya, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich), a warrior woman being pursued by a group of men until she bursts into the open and we see that she’s running towards a big city in our own world. Meanwhile Granger (Lundgren), a retired military man, is demonstrating martial arts to a group of young students with the help of some old military buddies. Immediately, you’re thrown into his world as a retired soldier, dealing with the memories of his time in the service and the aches and pains of a body abused in action.
As he mourns the loss of those who didn’t make it back from military action and gets a bath ready, he’s attacked by the same people who were chasing Elianna through the woods. Just as one of the assailants is about to get in a lucky shot, she appears on the scene to save him and push him through a magical portal to her world.
From that point on, it enters bad B-movie territory with horrible dialog written by someone seeking to poorly emulate Shakespeare. And even though there are some well choreographed fight scenes at times, they’re not enough to save the film from falling into a long series of predictable scenes and poor CGI. Though I like Lundgren and the hard-working Lochlyn Munro who played the evil King, the dialog and the stereotypical roles seemed more fit for an episode of Scooby-Doo! than a full-length movie.
Beyond the film itself on the DVD, there are a couple of commentary tracks and two features. In “Behind the Scenes of In the Name of the King: Two Worlds,” it looks like Dolph had a good time making the film with Boll and the rest of the cast. And “From Page to Screen” features writer Michael Nachoff talking about the process of coming up with the idea and how it changed once filming began. I have to wonder if the script was better than the film and the “on scene” changes were what sank it or if the dialog was really that bad in the original script.
I’m not a fan of writing negative reviews, but I’d strongly encourage you to stay away from In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds on DVD and Blu-ray and wait until it comes to television. At least then you can turn it off after the first ten minutes and not feel bad about it.