Dungeons & Dragons Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 2, 2012
Hmmmm what to think of this little gem, I saw this at the cinema on release (yes) and at the time I kinda liked it for some reason, now upon a rewatch I can't see why I thought that.

I guess at the time the effects were a little more impressive than today's standards of course plus there wasn't the huge amount of fantasy films that there are these days so this was quite a special little event. Looking back now it really is a terrible film, the acting from everyone is just abysmal and full O' cheese. Irons goes beyond taking the piss really with his rather queer hissing, cackling and facial expressions whilst his second in command played by Bruce Payne is just the campiest guy I've seen for ages...oh and he has blue lipstick on too.

The film revolves around the cliched to max partnership of Wayans (doing his best Eddie Murphy impression) and Whalin trying to be heroic and cool. The pair are just awful together and completely lacking any sense of comedic timing, there is of course a lot of attempted humour throughout but it all falls flat on its face hard.

There really is nothing to recommend here other than to laugh at, the effects are the worse CGI you will have seen for a major release (even though its an old film yes I know), tonnes of obvious bluescreen and even the costumes, makeup jobs and props all look cheap and tacky.

I still can't understand why Irons would agree to this, ditto Richard O' Brien ('The Rocky Horror Picture Show' and quite the cult name here in the UK). I suppose its because his scenes were a homage to the classic 'Crystal Maze' he once hosted, almost a homage to him really, the guy is legend but this brings him down.

The film was indeed mauled upon release but at the time (twas much younger back then) I gave it some leeway, it kinda reminded me of the 'Mortal Kombat' film and how, even though it was weak, it still had a glimmer of quality. But now I simply cannot allow that leeway anymore, the film may be enjoyed by younger kids but basically its crap.
Marc L.
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2011
I admit it. I actually really like this movie. There was a lot of bad in it, but a lot of good too. But before you see this movie, you need to be reminded that there is a LOT of bad.

Let's start with Jeremy Irons portrayal of Profion, an evil sorcerer trying to overthrow the kingdom's government. This might be some of the worst acting you've ever seen. In the last scene, you can barely understand what he's saying! And then there's the infamous "Hatatatatata!!" moment. The supporting villain is pretty bad too. His talk speed makes Eor from Winnie the Pooh look like Chris Tucker. Doesn't help that he has blue lips. There are also a few scenes that might have been seen as Indiana Jones ripoffs.

Now let's go on to the good. Besides Jeremy Irons and Bruce Payne, the acting was actually pretty good. Marlon Wayans and Justin Whalin did a pretty good job in particular. By the time Snail is killed, we (Well, I at least) really feel for his death. Zoe McLellan did a pretty good job too, and I'm NOT just saying that because she's hot.

The plot is pretty good too, even if it is a star wars ripoff. It shows a few historical traits to make it smarter than it's 10% rating might convey.

It also has a fair amount of heart. It's no Gone with the Wind, but compared to most fantasy films, it was pretty emotional. Lot's of scenes with great emotion.

I also think that it has a great message. Though it may be lost under Irons overacting, the film has a great message about how many different people can come together to achieve a common goal.

Bottom line, this was a good movie. Not spectacular, and I can understand the negative reviews, but good. I won't reccomend it, however, to anyone other than my friends.
Super Reviewer
½ May 3, 2010
Not technically a 90s movie, but it certainly falls into the same weird vibe that the decade created. Now i've never played the game, but i'm sure it's nowhere close to this very crazy mythical world that really takes more from Dune and the Lord of the Rings cartoon from what I could see. The over-acting is hilarious and some of the lines are just utterly amazing in terms of originality. Mainly because no one would do or say anything that was done or said in this movie.
arashxak
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2009
Why Jeremy? Why?
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2007
I've been playing D&D since 1979, and this movie did not have enough of a D&D feel. Of course I stopped playing with the 1st Edition rules, I hoped that more monsters, character classes, armor-types, traps and spells from the D&D world would've been shown in this movie. Where were all the wonderful monsters that D&D players know fondly from the game? I would've loved to see the onscreen representations of some of the famous monsters from the game. The filmmakers should've crammed the movie with tons of references to the actual game, so the D&D fans could pick them all out. The "dungeons" in the movie were extremely short. A vital part of the game is about a party working together, but in this movie - the hero Ridley went solo through most of the dungeons, while his companions waited outside -- what was the purpose of that? The ending made little sense, except to make way for a sequel. I would've prefered an ending that reverted to our world, showing a group of gameplayers sitting around a table, finishing up the story we had just seen. The scale of the movie seemed a bit cramped and staged. No attempts were made to combine the sweeping CGI vistas with the live actors. I think they should've left the scenes inside the scroll and the Ridley's dream of the baby dragon intact. On the DVD, you can see these scenes and others under the Deleted Scenes section. I think they ran out of time with this movie, and wanted it released in time for Christmas. If they had done more post production, it may have been a much better movie.
Super Reviewer
½ November 21, 2007
If I can tell that a movie is bad at the age of 10, then I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that it's a pretty fucking bad movie.

also gtfo Thora Birch, where is your career
thmtsang
Super Reviewer
July 21, 2007
I loved the cartoon. Good adaptation.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2007
Jeremy Irons hams it up in a typically laughable wizard/dragon fest. Feeble.
Frisby2007
Super Reviewer
September 9, 2011
I remember catching this movie a few months back, & didn't look it up here because I actually though this movie was made for tv seeing the cheap look it had & the sci-fi channel original movie elements it showed. Well, it wasn't.

I will admit I didn't really like it, but I also didn't really hate it. It was just really cheap-looking, with some weird acting performances (& some bad ones too), & overall a very geeky movie.

This is based on the board game of the same name, but I haven't played it, nor do I plan on playing. It's just way too nerdy; just as nerdy as Star Wars.

The plot was pretty straight forward, but the story seems too cliche, & a typical "save the kingdom from disaster & evil with a special weapon found in a mysterious place" bullshit. And it also felt like a horrible Legend of Zelda gameplay rip-off. And don't even get me started on how this movie has dungeon scenes that ripped-off "Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom".

The acting was not only bad, but also over-dramatically bad. Some of the actors would either look lifeless & bored, to plain out underacted &/or over dramatic. The direction was nothing too special & it looked very cheap, & I'm not just talking about the cheap camera quality either. The actors are pretty decent choices, since they're all talented actors for that matter, but they're all miscast choices, & they do not look anything like what they're playing...actually, scratch that, the actors do not make believable characters for what they play. Justin Whalin on the other hand, is the only actor in this movie who fits his character & role right, & that's only because he looks like a character found in any medieval fantasy movie or TV show, & he also looks like an Eragon reject. The villain in this movie is so laughably bad that I almost choked on my own saliva. The villain is bald, not that it's a bad thing to be bald, who wears coral blue number 2 semi-gloss lipstick (lol Spongebob reference), & says his dialogue in the slowest way possible. No really, every time he would say something, it would take him about 5 minutes to finish it all, I swear I could take a 15-minute shower as he begins his talking, & when I exit, dry, put on my clothes & some deodorant, & walk back to continue watching it, he'd either just be finishing the last couple of words or still talking.

Jeromy Irons played his character in such a badly acted way. He was the actor who was the most over-dramatic in this movie, hell in the entire fight scene between the dragons, he became a human vibrator at one point. And then there's Thora Birch's character who was the most under-dramatic character & actor of the movie. Her performance gave no emotions & had no impact upon the character.

The special effects were nothing special, but they do give you the world of medieval dragons & castles any movie of the theme should. But if you want to see some CGI that was good & better than this for it's own time, watch Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow". And the score was beautiful too, probably the thing I really liked in this movie. The costumes on the other hand, are pretty cheap, & they look like nothing more than some things worn by geeks at a costume party or reunion of the Dungeons & dragons fan base. As for the sword fight coordination, wow, just, wow, it's so simple & plain that you ask yourself if the coordinator of the sword fighting was a 10 year old. What you get from the sword fighting is nothing more that up, down, up, down, up, down, down, up, down, up, up, up, down, down, up, & so on! It's like a bad video game sword fight!

And I can tell you right now that Courtney Solomon is a horrible director at best, no worse than most other ones, but still horrible. She also gave us "An American Haunting", one of the worst horror movies I have ever seen, & definitely one of the worst movies ever made. Courtney cannot direct a good movie even if her life depended on it.

So, the best I can describe this movie is like the best thing the Sci-Fi channel can give you, only it actually went into theaters & wasn't on that channel. Hell it even ends the credits with a screen shot of the movie, like all bad straight to DVD or Scy Fy channel movies do!

I wouldn't recommend this movie, but if you want to see how bad it really is, then go ahead & check it out. You're better off having a blast laughing at this than you would with a movie like House of the Dead.
TheAngryAsian
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2012
This is a movie that is so bad, that it's fun to watch. I mean, the film is butchered with cliques, annoying characters, terrible acting, subliminally obvious rip-offs, poor visuals, and basically everything else that makes a truly terrible film. There is no emotion in anything. Although, let me say right off the bat, Jeremy Irons is just joyfully hammy. Also, the only reason he did this role was because he had recently purchased a castle, and needed the money to pay for it. So, of course, he picked the first film that came to him. Every other actor is pretty terrible, and the secondary villain who talks slowly and has toothpaste all over his lips is just stupid. The FOUR Indiana Jones rip-offs in the maze are just so obvious, it's hilarious. The dragons look like a training program for a visual effects artist's first day on the job. Plus, you can tell that Thora Birch isn't even trying. She's is probably the worst actor in this movie. At least Irons was somewhat fun to watch, and he was doing it on purpose. But Birch, that egghead doesn't even make an effort. If this movie couldn't get any worse, they add an eccentric, racist sidekick played by Marlon Wayans. Oh, and the dwarf is racist to. Don't watch it. The End.

EPILOGUE:
WTF!!!! There's a sequel to this film?
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2007
I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of fantasy. As a genre, it's always seemed too feeble for me to really get attached to, significantly more so than science fiction or horror, because EVERYTHING is made up: the landscapes, the kingdoms, the animals, even the species of the main characters is all make-believe. Often none of it is grounded in any identifiable reality, and it's very, very hard for me to give a damn about a world where nothing is relatable. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this- I did enjoy the Lord of the Rings trilogy a great deal- but with fantasy, it takes extremely skilled storytelling to bridge that gap to the audience and make the viewer invest interest in the film. Sadly, Dungeons and Dragons never even comes close to this. Based on the most popular role-playing game of all time (yippee-kai-yay), D&D is a perfect example of fantasy at its worst, concocting a meaningless threat to a poorly-realized world that must be saved by two-dimensional characters who go on a cliché-filled quest to find a convenient magical plot device- one that the ridiculously over-the-top forces of evil wish to obtain for themselves. Justin Whalin (you may remember him as Jimmy Olsen from TV's Lois and Clark... but if you don't, I don't blame you) stars as Ridley, the young thief who just might have what it takes to find the red-dragon controlling staff and save the kingdom of Izmer (or he could die a horrible death, but I guess no one else would find that entertaining. At least, as much as I would). He plays the standard Luke Skywalker part okay, but he just doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word "subtle"- I never laughed as hard as I did when I saw him react to an on-screen death (Jesus Christ, man, take it down a few notches!). Also in this film is Marlon Wayans as comic relief sidekick Snails, and since I don't really have anything nice to say about him, I'll just change the subject. Together with a bargain basement team consisting of a red-headed, fake bearded dwarf and a pretty elf in plastic armor- neither of which do a damned thing to move the plot forward, or even add some character to the proceedings- they set out to find... something. I don't know, I really didn't care what they were doing. In fact, in the end, they end up destroying the plot device anyway, and they were the only ones with the map to the cavern that held it, so... why didn't they just burn the map and call the quest a victory? Oh well- who cares. On the villains' side, we have the normally awesome Jeremy Irons... ripping the scenery to shreds with his teeth. I have never seen such incredible overacting in my life- I think he had fun with it, mostly because he knew that fun would be the best he could get out of the experience. Anyway, he's trying to overthrow the rule of the grossly miscast princess Savina, played by Thora Birch- she just couldn't seem to stop fidgeting, as if she just couldn't wait to finish shooting and get off the set (and frankly, I can't blame her). Finally, there's the Darth Vader of the whole thing- a guy named Damadar, played by a guy named (heh) Bruce Payne. About his performance, I can't help but say that it's kind of sad how he seemed to think speaking really slowly and quietly would make him sound menacing; about his character, I have only two words: BLUE LIPSTICK. As for the rest, it's all fairly derivative, with a "maze" in the second act (consisting of only three rooms) that's a straight rip-off of Raiders of the Lost Arc, and it's filled to the brim with questionable CGI shots that would look more at home in a TV show than a major motion picture. In fact, the whole thing has television production values, from the shoddy lighting to the minimal set design. There's no drama in the compositions, or the editing. Really, there's no drama anywhere in this movie- if you don't know how it's going to end going in, then you obviously haven't watched many movies lately. The screenwriters do try to throw in a curve ball or two, but they're poorly conceived and executed haphazardly (one concerning Marlon Wayans did catch me off-guard, but I didn't care- I come too far without caring to muster a reaction by then). The script is juvenile, the plot is irrelevant (it's good guys vs. bad guys, there doesn't have to be a reason). Frankly, all Dungeons and Dragons managed to illicit from me was a deep feeling of apathy at best, and an irritated annoyance at worst. It did get some laughs out of me, but none of them were good-natured. When it was finally over, I could feel the hole in my life where two hours had previously been, but that was all. It takes a lot to make a fantasy film really work, and a hell of a lot more to make one great. Of course, that doesn't keep Hollywood from trying; sometimes the result is Lord of the Rings, but sometimes... MOST of the time... it's this. Save your two hours, friend. Go forth, live life, and never think about watching this movie ever again. Trust me.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2007
Great movie.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2006
I've seen better acting in high school plays and the special effects look like something in a computer game. Idiotic.
Super Reviewer
September 20, 2008
I am not sure what hellish dervish rode me to watch this film. Maybe it was because I was ill and longing for some childish fantasy romp in the vain of The Neverending Story or The Princess Bride. Yet, what I got was a big mess with awful actors, some of which almost made me throw up and not because I had a stomach bug, but because they were just so bloody awful, first and foremost Marlon Wayans who plays his "role" as a mixture of Axel Foley and Jack Sparrow, taking the worst of each character and bringing the reverse pinnalce of the art of acting to new lows. The story is not all that bad ... it opts to make some lowlife thieves the unlikely heroes of the story and Jeremy Irons even makes for a funny villain, even though I felt like he is not taking his role serious at all, yet, who could he ? The CGI is below-par and so are the sets and costumes. Also, considering this is set in the D&D roleplaying setting, there are next to none similarities and direct palpable influences on the film taken from the source material (with one or two nice exceptions). All in all, a terrible fantasy film and that is coming from someone who adores fantasy films.
Mace R.
Super Reviewer
½ July 24, 2012
This movie gets a bit better when it starts taking itself more seriously toward the end, but pretty much the masses are right. It's one long, bad joke for most of the movie, and it just becomes pretty much unwatchable.
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2009
Even in a fantasy flick, the black guy has to die!! What is that??!
mingsysar
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2006
A severe lack of both dungeons and dragons. Although at the time I had a crush on the hero, because he played Jimmy Olson in the Superman TV series, now he seems weak, pale and too uninteresting to guide us through the film. Thora Birch walks through a part she should've, and could've, made her own and the only good thing is Arnold Vosloo who would go on to play The Mummy.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
Why do they make crappy fantasy films?!
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2008
Entertaining Action/Adventure/Fantasy.
½ April 3, 2012
Dungeons & Dragons might have been good had it not been for the poor special effects, cruddy cinematography and unrealistic set and costume designs. The actors involved all went way over-the-top with their performances which doesn't help D&D's cause.
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