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Dungeons and Dragons: the movie
Hello everyone, let me tell you a story about a fantasy movie presented to us by New Line Cinema, a movie about a mystical world where dwarves and elves live, where evil is around every corner and only a small band of heroes...okay the punch line is Dungeons and Dragons: the movie.
YES I told you guys I would review this movie wouldn’t I, and here it is. Little background info, Dungeons and Dragons is a popular tabletop board game where you pick a character (human, elf, dwarf, half-orc...) with a class (Warrior, mage, priest, rogue..) along with a few other folk to work together against the dungeon master who will throw monsters at you (dragons, orcs and the like). The goal of the game is to complete the objective (lets say killing a dragon) and the only way to succeed is to work together with the other players.
What has this to do with this film? I’ll tell you....FUCKING NOTHING!
This movie was released in 2000 with the tagline ‘This is more then just a game’. Wrong, it’s ‘This is more then just shit It’s super shit, with a cherry on top.' Why I this so bad? Let’s dive right in.
First of, the D&D game has several campaigns, different universes with different characters and plots. However instead of choosing one of these more interesting worlds and magnificent plots the director Courtney Solomon decided on a script which would take us to Izmir.
Izmir is a land where Mages rule and those who cannot wield magic are powerless and unimportant. However the new young Empress Savina wants to change all that and make everyone equal.
Yes, communism in a fantasy setting, kick ass plot right?
Anyways it’s around at the two minute marks in the film the entire film has already gone to shit. We’re introduced to our antagonist Profion played by Jeremy Irons. Everybody who has seen this film already start to snicker, we all know how bad he was in this one.
Don’t believe me? Have a look.
Still not convinced?
Let’s be honest that Dragon was a mercy kill really.
The plot is this. Profion wants to rule Izmir and wants to keep the mages in charge, but the empress can do whatever the hell she wants because she owns a scepter that can summon a ARMY OF DRAGONS at her disposal.
We’re talking about a fucking TEENAGER having the power to wipe out entire civilizations whenever the hell she wants! And to be honest Profion’s accusations of her being inept to rule because of that power....I can agree with that. Honestly would you want a twelve year old being in charge of a empire plus having the power to summon dragons whenever she wants if you disagree? Naboo might do, I don’t.
Anyway Profion wants to counter that and looks for a other scepter that can summon other dragons. Try not to keep your hopes up my friends...it’s not that awesome as it sounds.
Enter our two ‘rogues’ in our story, Ridley (played by Jimmy Olsen from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) and Snails (Marlon Wayans whom you know from the scary Movie-series). Now a lot of critics hate Snails for being a stereotypical black sidekick character and such...but I don’t.
Hell if anything he’s more Rogue-ish then Ridley! He actually STEALS for starters, doesn't even want to go on a adventure they'll get no rewards from or risk his life to save others. He also uses Rogue skills and he actually hits on women, fitting his renegade like class.
Ridley on the other hand is a friggin’ Mary sue with no flaws other then he really dislikes mages and even THAT get’s fixed later on in the movie. In fact I’m not even sure he Is a rogue, when you think Rogue, you think someone who walks in the shadows, grabs your wallet and runs off without you even seeing him, and if he or she is trapped they grab their daggers that come out of nowhere.
Ridley on the other hand has a fucking RAPIER that would no doubt knock all kinds of shit over if he goes burgling and makes the msot noise of the both of them. Also he is the guy who comes up with the idea to steal artifacts FROM A FUCKING ACADEMY FOR MAGES.
When I think burgling, I think schools of course. Now I know what your thinking, magic still would be pretty decent on the black market though, right? Maybe they would sell it on some dark spellcasters....
Alright, let’s assume for a start the Mages haven't booby trapped every single centimeter on that school (which is like the size of Mount Everest btw so how the hell they climbed up that place in one night is beyond me) to stop people from stealing their magic mojo, let’s assume there are no magic sentries there, let’s assume these two can actually sneak in and actually steal something and get out...where would they go?
Your stealing items only mages can use! Who would you sell a book that teaches you to shoot fireballs? A half-orc barbarian? A dwarf warrior? Yeh I bet Gimli can use a fireball spell here and there...
You can only sell mage stuff to mages, and pretty much every mage is bigger then god in this place, why the hell would they even think of becoming a outcast while they can just go to the academy and learn their stuff there. And oh if you further doubt my suspicious on their thieving...they lit a fucking magical lamp while they go off stealing....
You know in Belgium we have a word for those kind of people. IDIOTS!
Anyways Profion goes to the council of mages to basically tell them what everyone with a brain cell could've said from day one, having a scepter that can summon dragons in the hands of a twelve year old is a big no no and sort of...dumb.
It’s by this point you discovered Apocalypse’s distant Izmir cousin Damodar played by Bruce Payne.
Yes, Profion’s second in command, his handy man who does his dirty work...has blue lips. Whatever bad ass-ness they were going for here? It went out the window the moment you saw those blue kissers. Honestly I wonder why the director allowed those things. It’s like he went
Solomon: Hmmm...i don’t know, we need something more menacing, after all Irons is chewing away the scenery like he hasn’t eaten in weeks. Bruce: How about a eye patch? Solomon: Neah, to much like pussies... Bruce: A bad ass scar across my face from a dragon? Solomon: Neah....oh, how about Blue lips! Bruce: ...blue lips? Solomon: Yeh! Apocalypse pulled it off! Bruce: I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Solomon: I’m director and I say roll with it! Damn i'm a genius!
We also get introduced to our love interest for Ridley, Marina Pretensa (played by Zoe Mclellan). A mage in training who’s been given the map to the Mcguffin-I mean Scepter of Savrille which can summon the red dragons when Damodar kills her master.
Along with our two rogues (who got caught by the student mage...yeh the best rogues ever amirite?) she escapes the academy where they come across a dwarf named Elwood.(Because Norse sounding name would be to stereotypical for this beer drinking-meat eating red bearded axe wielding manly man) played by Lee Arenberg ( you know, the fat guy from the Pirates of the Caribbean).
In a tavern (populated by rejects from the set of the Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog) they meet up with the elf Norda played by Kristen Wilson who has honest to god the WORST costume in the movie. I’m not kidding, not even Profion’s white robe is that stupid. Her chain mail! (because Rangers can travel lightly and over great distance with metal around their chests you know) is clearly made OUT OF FUCKING PLASTIC!
Also to D&D players out there...are there any black skinned high elves? As far as I know only Drow (a evil sub-race of underground elves) are dark skinned. And yet this Ranger doesn’t have any of the Drow character-istics. Not even Drizz't Do’urden was this high elven-e and he was a good guy.
Is she a Drow, is she an high elf? The high elves in the film aren't black, is she a exception?
Ghaaaargh....this movie....it pisses me off to no end!
Anyways the party go to what I dub Mos Eisly on Endor (Hive for scum and villainy which is situated on treetops) where they follow a clone of Ivan Ooze who cant keep his fucking tongue behind his mouth, to a secret spot for thieves and where they find a object to find the mcg- Sceptre. (seriously I want to go in there and punch that guy he’s that fucking annoying)
In there some bald rogue leader guy who is played by a good actor no doubt but knows he’s in a shitty film and thus acts like he’s in it tells Ridley has to overcome a Dungeon. (because this movie is called Dungeons and dragons you know hehehe...kill me, please.)
Like any two year old who’s been in this dungeon he overcomes it and finds the crystal. The bald guy takes the crystal and backstabs Ridley, as Rogues SHOULD DO, when Blue lips comes round for the crystal and the party.
The party, save the mage, escapes but realize they have to go save her. Why? I don’t know, so far she hasn’t even used a single useful spell during combat except a portal spell ONCE. Look when I play a game like World of Warcraft you get kicked out of a group if your DPS isn't good enough, so how the hell she stayed around for so long I got no fucking clue.
Then again the dwarf and elf do almost NOTHING in the film, save the climax where they beat up some henchmen and then gets beat up by Profion (a fate worse then death I assure you).
Anyways they go to rescue her, and with they I mean the two rogues while the dwarf and elf and her FUCKING GROUP OF ELITE RANGERS, sit on their asses and wait. So why they don't assault the castle where the mage is being held I got no idea, but hey logic left the place the moment we were told the Empress has a scepter that can summon a army of Dragons.
No, I’m not letting that one go!
Also in the camp again D&D players roll their eyes when they see the beholders. Beholders in D&D are evil masterminds that can lay waste to an entire city and can lead armies of underground soldiers to claim the surface. In here they are dumb and easily distracted guard dogs for Damodar, who isn’t even a mage or someone who can control them! When I saw this in the cinema I heard people groan when they saw this, and even one guy started to CRY.
It’s like someone told him Santa Claus doesn’t excist and his grandmother died on the same day. I’m not joking.
Anyways the rescue succeeds but both Rogues gets seriously injured, with Snails dying. So yeh, the black guy dies....isn’t that a shock? Thing is though it’s their own fault, if they brought a healer along he could’ve been saved, so I call n00b on them.
Anyways the elf takes our fallen hero to some Rivendel knock off where they meet Doctor Who aka Tom Baker.
Seriously this movie has good actors, music and not to shabby effects, why the hell does it suck so bad?!
Oh yeh, nevermind...
Anyways Doctor Who patches him up and after Olsen makes out with the mage (I had more fun face palming this scene then actually see what’s going on) the party (minus Snails who was to damn awesome to life) goes off to cave with magical Mcguffin number 45678 where only Olsen can come in.
So Jimmy goes in, finds the scepter and a skeleton who warns him of the evils of the sceptre and how it corrupts and blablabla....is this movie almost done yet?! Right when Olsen comes out he finds his party being caught by Damodar (he could you have not seen him coming, his blue lips sparkle more then Edward Cuellen in the sunlight!) and has to give the scepter or else the party dies.
Personally I think he should’ve kept it and claim solo XP for this quest line, but maybe that’s why nobody asks my Orc Hunter to be in their party anymore. So Olsen being the dumb ass he is and instead of using the sceptre to summon the red dragons to fry Blue lips his ass he hands it over.
Damodar opens a portal back to Izmer where Profion’s rebellion against the Empress has started. So let me get this straight...Profion started his rebellion before he got the Mcguffin so his only defense would be his small circle of elderly man who cant aim a fucking fireball at the goddamn Death Star and his guards of mere mortal men because....?
Anyways Profion summons the red dragons and both Dragon species fight each other over the capitol of Izmer where they do more damage then the Megazord does to Angel Grove in your average Power Ranger’s episode. Who gives a damn about the people down below anyway? Oh wait the Empress does and the bad guys need people to be ruled over.....ah screw it, we’re almost done.
Jimmy Olson grows a pair and jumps after Darmodar where he faces him off in one to one combat. I actually started crying out ‘There can be only one’ at this point. The sword play was terrible though and the flashy magic bullcrap when the blades met looked to much like a star wars rip off.
Heck I wouldn’t be surprised if Darmodar went ‘Ridley...I am your father!’ In fact that would’ve been kind of awesome of Darmodar would've said that to Ridley when he gets stabbed through the chest. But let’s not forget this is Dungeons and Dragons and elements like story telling have no place he....oh......screw you Solomon!
So Darmodar dies and as shown earlier Profion gets eaten by a dragon. The movie ends when the party members get beamed up to the Enterprise when they visit Snail’s grave.
Right.....That’s it. My opinion on this film? It could've been good. Seriously in the deleted scenes they show crucial plot elements that for some reason got cut out of the movie and actually slowed the movie down a bit to let us get more bounded with the characters. Why it got cut out I got no clue...
The sucky ass costumes and masks should be no excuse for a small budget. Hell it’s sequel, though still quite bad, had at least better fight scenes and costumes then the first film, and it had a lower budget!
The actors in this film were quite good in other films and series, so why Solomon didn’t try to stop Jeremy rons from over acting or didn’t give Tom Baker a bigger roll is beyond me.
According to Wikipedia..
Solomon blamed the quality of the film on its investors and license-holders' interference, as well as his own inexperience in filmmaking. He states that he had only intended to produce the film, but was forced to direct by his investors after nearly a decade of complications dealing with TSR and Wizards of the Coast. He also claims that he was forced to use an older script despite having written an updated version that fit the Dungeons and Dragons license better
So developers hell and Holywood producers get the blame.
However while I trashed this film so bad, I recommend watching it because like Batman and Robin, it’s so bad it’s good to watch. It’ll make you laugh, make you cry (of laughter) and then makes you ask questions when the movie is done, such as ‘why the hell did I watch this?’
I hope you guys and gals liked my review and I’ll see you soon.