Dungeons & Dragons Reviews

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February 28, 2015
So Bad it's good Rating: 5/5
"Dungeons & Dragons" is a perfect example of a film that's so catastrophically awful it becomes hilarious. There isn't a single element present that is good. In the fantastical empire of Izmir, ruled by a knock-off of the child-like Empress from the "NeverEnding Story" (Thora Birch as Empress Savina), there is trouble brewing. The evil mage Profion (Jeremy Irons, acting so insanely he gives Nicholas Cage in "Wicker Man" a run for his money) and his blue-lipstick-wearing crony, Damodar (Bruce Payne) decide to steal the mystical red rod of power, which will allow them to summon the red dragons and take power by force. The protagonists of the film are Ridley (justin Whalin) and Snail (Marlon Wayans, who is so embarrassing as a sidekick he falls just short of wearing Jordans and rapping) who break into the Magic School (that's what it's really called) and get roped up with a young mage/love interest named Marina (Zoe McLellan). They meet up with a dwarf and an elf, included in the film only to make it more fantasy-like, and go on a quest to defeat the bad guys do. Expect Ridley to explore what passes as dungeons and for our heroes to battle some deadly, badly animated dragons.

It's laugh-out-loud hilarious and never gets old because the picture keeps throwing new stuff at you. The acting is terrible, but in a nice variety of ways for instance. Profion is way over-the-top, waving his arms around like a madman, chanting incomprehensible spells that sound like they're being made up on the spot and twisting his face in sneers and grins. The Empress on the other hand, is so wooden you get better performances out of the animated skeleton encountered towards the last third of the film, and that guy has no face! As for the main players, several of them are incredibly bland and feel totally irrelevant to the plot. You could have easily thrown out the elf and the dwarf character because they contribute nothing at all.

The story is terrible and feels like a generic fantasy film with a couple of Dungeons and Dragons elements thrown in. We've got a random monster who shows up for a single scene and then disappears, just so we can have D&D players go "I get that reference!" but otherwise the film is filled with weird-looking humanoids that would be more at home in an episode of Star Trek than in an epic fantasy film. The sets here are so incredibly cheap it is astounding. Some scenes are clearly shot against a bad green screen and you can almost see an aura surrounding characters as they talk in front of these big, elaborate castles. Other shots are clearly inside a large library or inside a cathedral that was not built for the film. It's pretty hilarious to see the camera pan around, showing elaborate paintings that in no way fit, as if the editor mistook them for some of the special effect guys' best work and said "The rest of this movie looks awful, but people have got to see this!" Mostly, "Dungeons and Dragons" is set in unconvincing dungeons, markets or forests that were probably borrowed from a TV show that had just finished wrapping up, with a bunch of random bones or skulls thrown in to look more menacing.

The most memorable and laughable elements of the film have to be the special effects. I understand that this film had a somewhat limited budget, about $40 million dollars. That's not a ton of money so I don't expect the creatures here to look as good as the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park", but this is a whole new level of bad. Someone working on this film was incredibly proud of the CG castle they built and they show it off constantly, but no matter how much you pan up and down, it still looks terrible. Even worse are the dragons. I realize that the film is called DungeonS and DragonS, but if you can barely create one CG dragon, don't include a battle where hundreds of them are flying unconvincingly, spitting fireballs at each other. One of the first scenes features a dragon being killed and the movie tells you right away it is going to be cheap, unconvincing and laughable because the dragon bleeds CG blood. Do you know how easy it is to shoot blood pooling and dripping over stone steps? You just need some corn syrup and food colouring, or at the very least some red paint! They couldn't even get that right, what hope do any of the other creatures here have?

The worst offender in terms of bad costumes (most of the armour looks like spray-painted plastic) them all is the elf Norda (Kristen Wilson, looking like a Vulcan from "Star Trek"). Ever see one of those paintings, perhaps on the side of a van where a tough-looking barbarian chick has her arms in the air, swinging twin swords? Half the time she's wearing a breast plate that looks like it was painted onto her skin? This elf has exactly that. Literally, she's wearing a breast plate; complete with individual cups and a belly button for extra sexiness. It's impossible to miss because the camera constantly shows her from the neck down. Had we not received many shots of Damodar's epic codpiece, I'd call her boob-plate the most awesome piece of armour in the whole picture.

Once in a while, you see a movie that's so bad it earns itself a place in the hall of fame. This is easily the worst fantasy film I've seen. It's a series of colossal mistakes immortalized on Dvd and it's glorious. Forget your standard comedies with your Eddie Murphys, your Jim Carreys and your Adam Sandlers. You want to laugh long and hard? Check out "Dungeons & Dragons". I love it! (On Dvd, January 24, 2014)
February 26, 2015
Cheaply made with corny acting even for a "Fantasy" flick. Marlon Wayans was probably the best thing about this movie, but they dropped the ball completely by not giving him enough screen time towards the last half of the movie and the ending was confusing, making no sense at all!
May 13, 2012
Akin to films BATMAN & ROBIN, STREET FIGHTER, and THE ROOM DUNGEONS & DRAGONS stands in that ever noble pantheon of laugh out loud so bad it's funny flicks. Anchored by Jeremy Irons giving his greatest hammy performance in an apparent attempt to steal the crown from Raul Julia's M. Bison as the greatest bad movie villain of all time. (Though still cannot quite get accomplish it in spite of his greatest efforts). Though to be fair from the perspective of a 9 year old, this was a pretty fun fantasy yarn.
December 6, 2014
.........yeah..........eh, I've seen worse.
½ November 29, 2014
It's like that one movie you expected to be good, but in the first few moments you realize "oh shit, this is gonna suck."
½ May 13, 2014
Considered an abomination to moviegoers and fans of the game alike, I tend to agree. The film is so stereotypical of fantasy that there is little originality. The characters are all stereotypical of fantasy and don't feel like characters at all. Though the dragon war is an interesting touch, the CGI on the dragons reminds me of Godzilla (1998) which is not a good thing. It's almost as if this was the result of an uncreative and bad Dungeon Master playing with friends that chose the blandest and stereotypical characters to play the adventure. The only saving grace of the film keeping it from being any lower is that the scene where a major sidekick is killed. I felt that scene was well done, effective, and leagues better than the rest of the film. Plus, Jeremy Irons as the villain is always fun to see.
October 15, 2014
Making the classic RPG mainstream with terrible acting, crap writing, "Money for Nothing"-level CGI, and no reason for existing. Seriously, why is it here, why was it made then, just why?
½ November 2, 2010
One of the worst movies ever. Terrible on all levels, and even worse it rips off so many classics in the absolute worst possible way.
September 5, 2014
25%
An insult to fans of the series, Dungeons & Dragons is a laughably bad fantasy knock off.
June 5, 2014
Oh, it's so bad. So so sooo bad. Definitely worth seeing to laugh at though.
May 31, 2014
I'm not a fan of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, but it doesn't matter, because I know a bad movie when I see one, and this has got to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The plot is composed principally of old D&D clichés, and the story structure is sub-par. The characters are incredibly flat, and Marlon Wayans' character seems to be blatantly racist, though mainly because he acts just like any other character played by Marlon Wayans, which by itself is out of place in something like Dungeons & Dungeons. For something that cost $45 million to make, the special effects, costumes, and props all look really cheap and unappealing, which is extremely problematic in a film where the premise revolves around magic. The action scenes are choreographed in such a way that they just feel tacked on, especially when they try to use the film's bad special effects to spice things up. I wouldn't recommend this film even for the most hardened D&D fan. Stay away from this movie at all times.
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.
April 26, 2014
1933's King Kong Is My Ninth Favorite Film Of All Time.
½ October 7, 2013
Full revised review coming soon
½ December 9, 2013
I loved watching this film as a child and I hope to watch it again some day soon!
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.
½ November 9, 2013
As a massive fan of the role-playing game, I understood a few more in-references in the film than most...and it's unbelievably entertaining as a bad movie, akin to such as The Room and many Schwarzenegger "classics". Dungeons & Dragons the movie is one of those times when nothing is ever done right, and it's all in the name of a glorious hilarity.
November 14, 2013
This movie is one of the worst things I've ever seen. But, I gave it one star because it is endlessly entertaining in how dumb and schlocky it is. Also, this is Jeremy Irons greatest role ever. It destroyed so many careers.
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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