Not even Bas Rutten can salvage this deplorable farce
Sitting through The Kingdom of Ultimate Power is almost as much fun as being stabbed repeatedly with an HIV infected needle. Both events make a quick and painless death seem more and more appealing the longer they transpire, but of the two, an infectious stabbing at least offers a sharp sting over the slow, brain-atrophying ache that is The Kingdom of Ultimate Power. As a die-hard fan of mixed martial arts legend Bas Rutten, I was thrilled to discover he had finally been given a vehicle to showcase his comedic talents in addition to his incredible athletic abilities. But upon viewing this film, it wasn't long before my joy quickly turned to disappointment and then anger. I felt more and more embarrassed on behalf of Bas as I watched him humiliate himself on screen as Vlad, the retired Ultimate Fighting champion who becomes interested in producing a film about futuristic freedom fighters rebelling against an evil empire in a quest for the holy land. Newcomer Jeremiah Clancy stars as Arch, the hapless screenwriter Vlad conveniently stumbles across on a park bench in the film's opening scene and begins pursuing forcibly. Of course Vlad offers Arch little choice but to enlist as a screenwriter, and the film then centers around their strained working relationship. Arch is supposed to be the likable straight man in stark contrast to the crazy man Vlad, but the very notion that the charisma-impaired milquetoast Arch could ever be accepted as the likable protagonist of this film is absurd. This is a film whose small audience will be comprised solely of mixed martial arts fans drawn in by Rutten. Quite probably, these viewers will be drawn to the intense and charismatic Vlad. Consequently, I found this to be a film of questionable moral integrity; it unwittingly endears us to a character we should shun as a deranged stalker.
Of course The Kingdom of Ultimate Power styles itself a comedy, but has such low regard for its intended audience that it is all but unwatchable. It's not an exaggeration to say I know 5th graders who would be bored to tears by this film's pedestrian attempts at humor which center on absurdity rather than wit. For example, in one scene Vlad makes Arch a "sun smoothie" which is "equal parts protein shake and hot fudge sundae - with carrots!" Oh, what comedy. The plot is simply dull and the odd couple pairing of the tough-as-nails Rutten with the highly effeminate geek Clancy has potential but is a well beaten dead horse just five minutes into the film. This is at its core, a one joke movie, and it isn't long before it overstays its welcome.
I enjoy comedies featuring dignified characters in realistic but oftentimes awkward situations; I prefer to laugh with the characters on screen rather than at them. In this case the film's protagonist is a "normal guy" who is either too stupid or too naive to do anything about his maniacal stalker. I've seen this movie twice before and enjoyed it immeasurably more both times as The King of Comedy and The Cable Guy, fine films writer-director Jeremy Buhler seems to have swallowed whole and now feebly attempts to regurgitate for re-consumption. I find his offering unpalatable. I lost interest in The Kingdom of Ultimate Power within the first five minutes, during which time I began to realize I was watching a movie about a moron stalking an even bigger moron in a moronic film intended for a target audience of morons. This is a very cynical film, made by a director whose contempt for his audience is on display at all times.
At 30 minutes running time, The Kingdom of Ultimate Power overstays its welcome by about 29 and a half minutes. A much more enjoyable short film with the same cast and crew would have been a thirty second clip of Bas Rutten roundhouse kicking Buhler in the face for writing and directing this farce.
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