Hey folks, Harry here... And while this review may tear DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS apart... I tell you what. Friday, December 8th, 2000.... I'm starting off my day picking up Cartuna at the airport... checking him in a hotel... taking him to lunch and then he can choose to either go to his hotel and rest.... or go with me and a gang of filmgoers to see... DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. This movie is going to be goofy and dumb... the dialogue will be delivered with cutlets from a deli.... and the effects will be... not what they should be... BUT I KNOW THAT NOW. I haven't played DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS since I was about 11, and what I remember about doing that was sitting around... getting really into it... and laughing our asses off. It was a great time. Now, there might be some that take DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS serious... and that is fine... you should probably avoid this film. If the line delivery in the trailer didn't let you know what you were in for... then, so be it. But I'm seeing this, followed by a really fun Hong Kong film that night at the Drafthouse... then it's 10 hours sleep before BUTT-NUMB-A-THON begins.... I mean, I'm there to see TOM BAKER as the Elf king.... Jeremy Irons overact like a madman.... and tons of funky cg dragons all over the place.... and that Beyonder fella.... Dear god, I've wanted to see one of those since I was a kid. And I'll probably come home that night and watch that great episode of the ol DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS saturday morning cartoon called THE HALL OF BONES... Now a feature adaptation of that would rule planet Earth. Anyways... here's Mumbles.... bigboydidit.... O'Malley with your look at D-n-D....
Here's that DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS review.
I'll start this by saying that I've never played DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, and know nothing about it. So maybe the die-hard fan would have a different reaction to this thing, but here's my take.
From the title, you'd assume that there would be some dungeons and dragons in this movie, but so much for titles. I can only remember one dungeon, and the dragons are few and far between (by far, I mean about an hour and a half).
The plot centers around two petty crooks (played by Marlon Wayans and Jimmy Olson) who are trying to get some sort of stick with a glowing rock on it before the evil Jeremy Irons and his group of thugs do. But who cares about the plot? The filmmakers obviously don't, but that's OK. Some of the best films ever made were devoid of plot. Not that this is one of them, but still...
I hadn't seen any trailers for this thing, so I really didn't know what to expect going into it. Then the movie starts with Jeremy Irons giving one of the most over-the-top performances ever in the history of mankind, followed quickly by the introduction of his big, tough, right-hand man (who looked menacing, aside from his silver lipstick), and then the revelation of the film's first dragon (who just kinda stands there). The dragon was computer generated, and about on par with the special effects found on XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. It was at this point that I thought, "OK. It's THAT kind of movie." You know, something in the same vein as WING COMMANDER.
When I had heard that Courtney Solomon, the director of this fairly big genre film was a first-timer who had never really worked in the film industry before, I thought, "That's cool. I've never seen that done before." Now I know why. It's too much for him to handle. He can't tell a good story, he has no sort of visual style, he can't cut for shit, and he is absolutely TERRIBLE with actors.
You would think a film with Jeremy Irons, Thora Birch, and Marlon Wayans would have, if nothing else, some decent performances. Sorry to dissapoint you, but that's not the case. Wayans plays the live-action equivalent of Jar-Jar Binks, only more annoying. Irons and Birch are in the film for all of ten seconds, but they both suck too. The only difference in their performances is that Irons knows he sucks, and Birch couldn't care less that she sucks. I will say, though, that Zoe McLellan, who plays the mage, was good. I've never seen her before, but she'll go on to do something good. You heard it here first.
So now that I've totally ripped this movie to shreds, let me say that I might VERY hesitantly reccomend it. Yeah, it's cheesy as hell, but it knows that it's cheesy, and doesn't try to hide from its cheesiness. When it comes right down to it, you could do a hell of a lot worse. What can I say? If nothing else, you'll laugh a whole bunch.
One final thought: If you're gonna rip off a movie like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, don't do it shot-for-shot. People will notice.