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The Jason Statham Flop Defying Odds And Dominating Amazon Prime Video

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Every streaming service from Netflix to Peacock includes a selection of films that even the most devoted cinephile has never heard of before. Some of these movies are actually good, and others... well, others are exactly what you would expect, but even those films can work as curiosity pieces. Such is the case with Jason Statham's In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, a 2008 fantasy misfire that's defying the odds and making a splash on Amazon Prime.

When it was first released, In the Name of the King was panned by critics and fans alike. Based on the Dungeon Siege video game, the film boasts an eclectic cast of well-known actors. In addition to Statham as a man named Farmer, there's also Leelee Sobieski as the daughter of a medieval king played by Burt Reynolds (yes, you read that right), Ray Liotta as an evil wizard, and Ron Perlman as Farmer's surrogate father figure.

It's a bizarre collection of actors to star in a film that's clearly trying to ride on the coattails of The Lord of the Rings' success — the cast even includes a Lord of the Rings star, thanks to John Rhys-Davies appearing as a wizard named Merick. But ultimately, the movie, which follows Farmer's quest to free his kidnapped wife and thwart the evil plans of Gallian (Liotta), doesn't have enough steam in it to fuel an epic fantasy and it's too self-serious to be a truly fun bad movie.

But what In the Name of the King does have is Statham. Since 2008, The Meg star has become a reliable box office draw, which makes his foray into high fantasy appealing for no other reason than to see him hamming it up with Reynolds in between fight scenes.

In the Name of the King spawned a franchise of films, despite bombing at the box office

According to Box Office Mojo, In the Name of the King made just $13 million worldwide, which didn't come close to recouping its $60 million budget. Still, director Uwe Boll remained undeterred. Rather than admit defeat, he went on to make two direct-to-DVD sequels to the film — neither of which were affiliated with the Dungeon Siege video games.

The next two movies also had to make do without Statham's star power. By the time 2011's In the Name of the King: Two Worlds was released, Statham had moved on to box office hits like The Expendables and The Transporter franchises. That left Rocky IV protagonist Dolph Lundgren to take on the lead role of a time-traveling soldier in the sequel.

In some ways, you could say that In the Name of the King is a lesson in perseverance. The movie wasn't appreciated when it was released — and if its Amazon user reviews are anything to go by, it's not exactly winning over legions of fans now — but it has been rediscovered by curious Statham devotees. And hey, now you too can check out this strange bit of late '00s filmmaking on Amazon Prime — just be prepared to be left with a long list of unanswered questions, including but not limited to why everyone in the movie's medieval European country, aside from Statham, speaks with an American accent?