Honest Movie Reviews from a Life Long Horror Fan. Each movie is reviewed immediately after viewing.
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Dungeons and Dragons
★★★☆☆
Run Time: 1h 47m
Released: 2000
Reviewed: 7 Jun 2016
Viewed: 553 ¦  Comments
Category: Reviews, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Dungeons and Dragons
  

Year: 2000
Directed By: Courtney Solomon
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Empire of Izmer has long been a divided land. The Mages – an elite group of magic-users – rule whilst the lowly commoners are powerless. Izmer’s young Empress, Savina, wants equality and prosperity for all, but the evil Mage Profion is plotting to depose her and establish his own rule. The Empress possesses a scepter which controls Izmer’s Golden Dragons. To challenge her rule, Profion must have the scepter, and tricks the Council of Mages into believing Savina is unfit to hold it. Knowing that Profion will bring death and destruction to Izmer, Savina must find the legendary Rod of Savrille, a mythical rod that has the power to control Red Dragons, a species even mightier than the Gold. Enter two thieves, Ridley and Snails, who unwittingly become instrumental in Savina’s search for the Rod. Joined by a feisty Dwarf named Elwood, and helped by the Empress’s expert tracker, the Elf Norda, the young heroes go in search of the Rod of Savrille.

As a fan of Dungeons and Dragons, and the fantasy genre in general.. there’s a lot to like here, and a lot to not like. For example; I can tell you that the one thing you don’t want to do as a thief (rogue) is scream like a little girl. And that’s all Marlon Wayans seems to do.

I honestly can’t tell if it’s the acting or directing that’s so horrifically bad.. I’m inclined to think it’s direction, because i’ve seen the cast in good roles before and after this movie. Everyone is over-acting.. from Damodar’s evil whispering, to Profion’s wild hand gestures and over the top mannerisms.

I imagine that the role of Marina (Zoe McLellan) was written as her being a “wide eyed youth” but, jeebus.. I thought her eyes were gonna pop out of her head during the scene where she meets Thief Guild Master Xilus (Richard O’Brien).

The creature effects (practical) weren’t that bad.. there’s a scene in a bar and there are a couple of.. hell, I dont know what they were, but they were pretty good.. the CGI wasn’t bad for the time.. but then we have this crap. Open the photo and take a good look to the right… What the hell is that?? It’s like the guy was on his way to a Halloween party at an elementary school. I take that back, I think I looked better at my grade 6 costume party. This is just lazy, garbage makeup.

And now let’s take a look at the stylish mage staffs, shall we? Open this photo, Again, what the hell is that? It looks like someone had too many pipe cleaners on hand and an obsession with bending them into weird shapes. Are the supposed to be symbols? runes? a Grasshopper? a cute bunny? We don’t know, and they’re not talking.

And just look at the robes. Go On.. LOOK Damn You!! Ooooo Shinny. For the most part, wardrobe is pretty good, but when it came to the mages, it’s just down right awful.

The real treats in this movie are the performances by Richard O’Brien (Xilus) and Tom Baker (Halvarth, the Elf Elder). Both played their parts very well against the rest of the cast, and bad direction. I honestly can picture both of them turning to the director, saying “Thank you, we got this.. got have some tea or something”.

The story, isn’t bad. But, could have been better. Really, it felt more like a campaign than a script. A campaign with way too much of Norda saying “Only you were meant to pass” or whatever.. Yeah, really a lot of scenes with people needing to complete a task on their own, with no one able to help them. Really felt like an MMO with players running into a solo dungeon.

Really, all and all, this movie didn’t suck. It just could have been done a lot better. So, here are my thoughts on HOW to make it better.

  1. No Wayans. Marlon sucked. And not just in this movie.. he’s the death of any role.
  2. Less Dungeons and Dragons (yes, you heard me) Just because it’s a D&D Movie, don’t pander to the lowest common denominator. Make the movie for Everyone to enjoy, not just that guy who carries a bag of dice around with him 24/7.
  3. Story Story Story. Hire some damned writers, and don’t just try to make a movie around a gaming campaign.
  4. Do Not copy the 80’s cartoon and have real people transported into the game. No No No. Bad Monkey!
  5. Do Not Use Young Actors. Too many “young adult” action/dramas have been made in the last 10 years, and very few of them were any good, in fact, most of the bombed hard. Hire a casting director (who’s not boinking the actresses) who will fill your cast based on their strengths, not because they’re popular, pretty, or blowing someone off camera.
  6. Watch successful fantasy movies/tv shows.. and be inspired.. don’t copy. I dont want to see your take on Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings.. but, these movies have a lot of good ideas.. be inspired by them.

That’s it!

I feel this movie was made for kids, so let them watch it and hey, if you play (or used to) Give your kids your rule books.