Original Release Date: 2000
Run Time: 1:47:54
MPAA Rating: PG-13
iTunes Price: $9.99 buy, $2.99 rent
File Size: 1.58 GB
Dungeons and Dragons is not a good movie. That’s the big takeaway from this review. I’m going to be expanding on it in various ways, but honestly, that’s all I have to say, in various repetitions: Dungeons and Dragons is not a good movie.
So, then, we begin. With all the grandeur and pageantry of an off-market Choose Your Own Adventure novel bought in a small town convenience store, we are introduced to the empire of Izmer. Though ruled by the mages, the young Empress (Thora Birch) challenges their iron grip and wants only to give her people freedom. Because if there’s one thing you can say about those who rule Empires, they’re deeply concerned about the voting rights of the serfs.
The Empress is being vote-blocked, however, by the evil—excuse me, “eeeeeeeeviiiiiil”—Profion, played by Jeremy Irons in a role that must have payed for a pretty kick-ass houseboat. Profion not only wants to take control of the empire, he also wants the secrets of ruling the great dragons. To control the dragons, Profion must use both a mystic wand and, apparently, every muscle in his face, judging by the rather amazing overacting Irons does in every scene involving both him and the crude CGI reptiles.
But all this is but prelude to the meat of our film, because we have yet to meet Ridley and Snails, two amazingly clean-cut thieves who decide it would be a great idea to break into the mages’ stronghold and steal something. Just to, you know, bug them. Which is what you want to do with a council of archmages that rules an empire.
You’re going to be stunned, absolutely stunned to learned that it ends with a huge and poorly-rendered CGI battle between good and evil dragons.
The digital transfer is clean, as you might expect from a film that was made in 2000 and made heavy use of CGI. So the quality of the transfer is fine, but the quality of the cinematography, especially its bargain-basement effects, is questionable.
Not a one. No commentary from the cast nor crew, explaining how proud they were to finally be bringing their vision to the screen. No behind the scenes features of Jeremy Irons, Thora Birch and Marlon Wayons hunched over graph paper, Cheetoh’s and Mountain Dew at hand, preparing to bring one of the most beloved games to the big screen. Why, it’s as if everyone involved in this film had nothing to say about their role in it’s making. Astonishing.
If you love bad movies, Dugneons and Dragons is a film that you should not just rent, but own. It’s fantastically awful, failing in just about every way you can imagine: bad effects, bad story, and bad acting from some really terrific actors. In terms of being laughably bad, it’s one of the all time greats. If, however, you’re looking for a thrilling and epic fantasy, you’d be better served by something along the lines, of oh, say, The Lord of the Rings or even Hawk the Slayer.
Buy or rent Dungeons and Dragons