Director: Courtney Solomon
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Justin Whalen
Dungeons and Dragons is based off of the game Dungeons and Dragons like vomit is based off of the bottle of tequila you should guzzle before watching this movie. Fans of the franchise will be happy to hear that it had everything that makes for a standard D&D game: painfully awkward dialogue, abysmal acting, idiot college kids suffering from delusions of grandeur, and dwarves because a D&D game without dwarves is like a sci-fi movie without the Zeeblax tribe from the planet Narflux. I mean, why even try without them, seriously?
Taking place in the Empire of Izmir, Dungeons and Dragons puts us in the middle of a political struggle where the evil mage Profion is trying to incite chaos by convincing the high council that the child Empress Savina is a bad, bad person because she wants equality and wields a rod that controls golden dragons. This apparently works because all of the council is over the age of 70 and thus are terrible, inconsiderate people and the poor Empress Savina suddenly has an incredibly pointless uprising on her hands.
|On the right: Profion for Men|
On the left: Profion for Women
Off in the distance are two buddies, Ridley, a Level 3 Thief and his trusted partner Snails, a Level 0 Wayans Brother. Deciding to break into the mages guild to go steal stuff, they are quickly captured by the sexy librarian character and learn about a rod that controls red dragons ‘cause why not, really? Abandoning all of their personal feelings and ethics, Ridley and Wayans Brother decide to partake in the quest to find the rod and save the realm while casting a big spotlight on all of the reasons D&D is ridiculed so much in society.
When you have a movie that is based off of such a vast world with so much imagination, the worst thing you could do is try to cater to every purist that is going to cry foul because you might have forgotten something that seems so crucial to the lore. This film had dragons and dwarves and magic weapons and dungeons that, instead of being beautifully strung together in a plot that could appreciate the majesty of them, was tossed into the plot casserole as if halfway through production someone realized “oh my gosh! We forgot elves!” and there was a quick coffee break and writing adjustment to find some place for them.
What you get is a near crit fail with no chance for a saving throw. This looked like an after school special but with worse production value (half the time, the sound effects were off by a noticeable second) and a slurry of desperate attempts to relate to what everyone thinks is the average D&D player. I know the average D&D player…this movie missed horribly and made the entire culture look like a joke. The characters were WAY into their dialogue which was constructed like horrible improv that only rears its ugly head after many, many bottles of Mountain Dew. It was messy and uncomfortable and it didn’t take long before I didn’t want to be a part of it.
|Marlon Wayans as "the face that launched|
a thousand resumes."
I’ve never been big into Dungeons and Dragons, but I tried and I have a lot of friends into it and yes, I will admit that it actually can be kind of fun, but this film bastardized all of that by making no attempts to be genuine and instead making many attempts to simply be there. It is cruel and unusual punishment because those purists out there will immediately recognize a lack of history and those unfamiliar and just a fan of fantasy in general will walk away thinking this is an accurate representation of one of the most important franchises of our time.
They will be wrong. Everything about this movie is wrong and I think it’s safe to say this is one that we wish we could re-roll. But it’s too late, it’s already spawned sequels and has made a horrible, pathetic mockery of itself. Though let’s hope that one day, one fateful day, a brave soul in the far reaches of Hollywoodland will gaze upon Dungeons and Dragons and take on an epic quest of their own to bring honor to this enchanting world and create a beautifully crafted tale for the ages that will be reveled as one the greatest stories ever told, instead of one of the worst inside jokes ever filmed.
Gaining a +1 to movies I’ve seen, but a -100 to minutes of my life I enjoyed even a little bit, Dungeons and Dragons rolls just above a critical failure and acquires 2 Sacred Busters of Dusting.