DUNGEONS & DRAGONS - Bad D&D Movies Part Two | Cynical Reviews
This. Is going to be a good one isn't it welcome. Back to Bad D&D, movies, a series in which I take a look at films of questionable, quality that, made use of the Dungeons & Dragons license, next, up on our list is the 2000, film that simply titled Dungeons, & Dragons this. Is the big one the granddaddy. The, one most notorious, among D&D, fans and connoisseurs, of bad movies alike the film so terrible. That it ruined the reputation of, D&D, movies, for the next 20, years after, its release it, earned itself scathing. Reviews, terrible. Film scores and inclusions, on lists of the worst movies, of all time, thanks. Given. That I'm doing this series on Dungeons, & Dragons movies. There was no way I could skip over it I. Could. Probably make an hour-long video just on this movie, but my doctor warned me about my blood pressure so I'm restraining myself, besides, this movies been covered to death on YouTube already so I won't be going into too much detail, here he says in a 20-minute video but trust me when I say that this film is a tourist sized pile, of shit. Short. I. Hadn't, seen it in almost 20, years, but I remember that even as an excited, young nipper who'd barely dipped his fingers into second edition advanced D&D, this movie was both a massive letdown, and a waste of the $2.99, I pay to rent it from Blockbuster, oh god. I feel old its notoriety means, that it's already been thoroughly dissected. And picked apart there's so much to comment on that it's honestly hard to know where to begin starting. With the most basic stuff the amount of continuity errors, and revealing mistakes, is utterly, ridiculous, I've seen first-time, DMS campaign, notes more consistent, than this just, look at all the other examples that have been cataloged, on the IMDB, page I mean Christ, that, is not a good sign given. How amateurish, the production, comes off as I was amazed, to learn that the budget was an estimated, 35, to 45, million, dollars. The hell did they spend the money on certainly, not the props cheap and flimsy as they are like, they bought them from a local costume shop on the morning of the shoot or the CGI which, is awful, this film came out five years after dragon heart and one year before Shrek. This is embarrassing. And when they use it for establishing, shots these wouldn't, look out of place in a video game from the same era but the script alone, would be enough to condemn it to the lowest of the nine hell's the, dialogue where it isn't a me is stilted. Inane, and stupid. It's not funny where it wants to be and is funny where it wasn't trying to be and whenever, it gets serious, you can't take it seriously, there, aren't as many tropes, and stop characters, as Dragonlance, but there's still enough to be noticeable, I will say though that as terrible, as the film is it does qualify us so bad it's good much, of that comes down to Jeremy, Irons whose, performance, as the evil wizard prophy on single-handedly. Saves, the movie. How. Can you not love it when he was asked why he did this to himself he replied are, you kidding I just, bought a castle, I had to pay for it somehow I mean, fair, play to him we all got to do what we got to do you know coming, in in a close second, is Bruce Payne who takes his role as pro fianc henchman Damodar so seriously. He tries way, too hard, to appear threatening and everything, he does is so over-the-top, and melodramatic, it's brilliant. Although, that lipstick is really distracting. I kept thinking he was late for a rainbow, party and can we just take a second to acknowledge what a great name Bruce Payne, would be for an adult performer the.
Other Major characters and their actors are far less redeemable, the protagonist Ridley, is boring, and unlikable I would say that he wouldn't be out of place in a young adult / teen novel, but that'd be insulting, to that genre he's, a loveable devil-may-care thief, who isn't loveable imagine, a rogue multi, classed with an idiot and then, there's snails, oh boy. Snails. Whose name is never explained, is what happens when you make everything, your dump start. Is that all. Some, people have complained that this black sidekick, is a callback to the racist, stereotypes, of old and I can certainly see why they say that. I. Expected, him to start saying things like damn. Damn. Oh. Okay. Then but even if it wasn't he'd still be annoying as fuck. In. Some places he was clearly trying to emulate Chris Rock in the fifth element without realizing, that Ruby rhod was supposed to be an irritating, diva whereas, he's meant to be an endearing sidekick. So it backfired, and just made him more unlikable. Everything. That comes out of his mouth makes, me feel like I'm suffering the effects of vicious mockery. I've. Heard reports that people cheered, in the cinemas, when he got killed off and I fully believe them. Is. He in this, to. Appeal, to the kids, kind. Of like ja ja Binks was the, similarities, are disturbing, moving, on marina is an insufferable, mage who exists to get on my tits and to have a forced romance with Ridley that fits as well as a round fist in a square anus Thora, Birch was, perhaps the hardest Don Boy in her role as the Empress on the back of an incredible, performance, in the previous year's American, Beauty she's, reduced to a singularly, dismal, performance phoning. It in while appearing to read off cue cards with all the emotion, of wet firewood but, you would find the wisdom to see that the path I proposed. For is. The. Right one. Maybe, it was the lack of direction, or good material, to work with or she just didn't give a sh well maybe working with Kevin Spacey was really that traumatic on the whole the acting is not great, and the delivery subpar. To put it charitably and, aside, from the name and some very superficial. Underdeveloped, elements, the film has very little to do with Dungeons, & Dragons and. Hardcore fans of the games law will be pretty pissed by some of what's on display here, like I said it has its moments but for the most part it's an insult to the license it seems like Dungeons & Dragons was, doomed from the start a legal, battle between director, Courtney Solomon and Wizards of the coast meant, that production of the film had to start abruptly Solomon. Who owned the rights to the film didn't even want to direct and had never directed before but, was forced to after, Lorraine Williams, the head of TSR vetoed, his choice of candidates, which, included, if you can believe it Francis, Ford Coppola and James, Cameron, in a later interview Solomon, recounted, that at a meeting with James Cameron in 1993.
Williams, Folded, her arms and asked him what, are your qualifications to. Direct this film at. This point Terminator, 2 had been out for two years. That's, a terrible way to do business. Given. This background it's no wonder the movie was such a clusterfuck, and now, we're gonna see how much of a cluster it is. The. Opening narration establishes. The setting as the Empire of Izmir, in which majors rule and peasants, are kept in their place the Empress wants more equality but profion thinks that's communism, so he's trying to gain the power to control dragons, so he can usurp her his efforts go about as well as the film does we're, then introduced, to our protagonists. Unfortunately. The dragon's blood sets the river on fire and wanting to give the major some payback for it Ridley decides to break into the Magic School which given, the wide variety of nasty, traps and spells available. To the mages would be where I as the DM say. Are. You sure you want to do that. Profion. Shows up at the council now wearing white because he's pretending to be good you see it's some very deep, symbolism, he's, trying to persuade the council to take control of the Empress's sceptre which she uses to control an army of dragons supposedly. For the good of the realm the empress woodenly tells her advisor about her principles, something, he'd already know so she's really speaking, to the audience which, is annoying her, advisor tells her about the rod of Sorrell which has the power to control red, dragons, if she had it she could give up her own sceptre, without relinquishing her power, one of damodar's, imps overhears, this so profion sends him to the magic school to subject the advisor to enhanced, interrogation the. Advisors, assistant, marina finds Ridley and snails trying to rob the place which was astonishingly. Easy to break into. I'd. Have to put a feeble mind spell on myself to want to take you home. I'll bet that joke sounded a lot better on paper where it should have stayed her, master gives her the scroll he was working on just before Damodar, kills him with. A little push. She. Escapes through a portal dragging the thieves behind, her why, doesn't she let them go and thus lighten her load and let her escape more easily is she that determined, not to let them go unpunished this is what lawful stupid, looks like before, they escaped into the sewers they run into a dwarf Bob who decides to tag along with them for the prospect, of some money, his name is Elwood not, that we'd know that because they never tell us he's, stupid, and angry and like Macho Man Randy Savage but, without the charisma or deodorant he also complains about everything and hates elves, obviously. And he's, completely unnecessary. He doesn't do anything important, and could easily have been written out were they just trying to add some racial, diversity, post. Brigades. At every sewer. That. Delivery, though proof, yawns pretty annoyed that he let them get away and so to prevent any more such failures, he forces, Damodar, to get quite literally, scuffle, by a hentai reject, since, the gang are now wanted for murder they decide that the intelligent, course of action would be to hang around in a crowded public place for an obligatory tavern, scene you, know those red marks they look like the locks my father used to put all the plans and his carriages, Allen, or Sala. Fedora. So. The preeminent, scholar couldn't decipher the scroll but Ridley is somehow able to because his dad did something similar apparently. What. With. An elf. You've. Gotta get yourself a nice, 250. Pound wok. I. Take. Everything back, this film is amazing. Do. Not, let them escape boy. You will suffer, a fate far worse than, that, which hath been inflicted. Upon me. Could. You say that a little slower some of us are having trouble keeping up with all this genius. The dwarf starts a tavern brawl because of course there's a tavern brawl during which he and snails easily escape because Damodar, decided, to wait for, some. Reason, snails, manages, to get Ridley and marina out of the scroll after which they tell them that the Wraith who lived inside the scroll who I guess was cut out for budget reasons told them about the rod of Sorrell and that in order to get it they have to obtain the eye of the dragon from a guild master, of a thieves guild in another city Ridley, agrees to help marina find the rod because he wants to smash and, snails, objects, pretty hard for a guy who just wanted.
To Risk his life for some elven poontang, but they all agreed to go along for the ride and set off to find the ie tracked, by the elf from the tavern the boys want to steal the dwarf wants to drink and marina wants to go shopping, because. She's a woman, it's. Funny because women like to go shopping it's. Funny you guys they, follow Thanos's, aborted, cousin to the thieves killed where they're taken to meet Guildmaster Zyliss who's definitely another, highlight, of the movie it's, Richard O'Brien parodying. His role as the presenter, of the TV series The Crystal Maze I used, to think that the Crystal Maze was the absolute. Dog's bollocks, as a kid so I was grinning, like a murder hobo at this point and he fits in so well with everything, else in terms of camping, us and ridiculousness. That I can't help but applaud them for this decision. Appropriately. Enough the eye is the reward for getting through his maze which no one has so far attempted, and lived but, ridley manages, to get through after giving me some tomb of annihilation, flashbacks. The guild master, goes back on his word but Damodar, crashes the party just in time. But. Be prepared for a lesson in pain. You. Must, be, joking, and. So. Another fight breaks out. Morena, gets captured and when the others try to find her they get captured by elves, led by the one from the tavern who reveals herself to be an agent of the Empress, that, is not. How that image should look Damodar. Interrogate, some arena with his noodly appendages, if I showed you this scene out of context, you'd think it was a parody, of porno, or both but, no it's impossible. To parody, this and far, from impossible, to jerk off to it the, gang tracked Damodar, back to his castle with, luck, beholders. Oh yeah I started, to forget that this is meant to be a D&D movie, this is also the only time they appear which is a bit of a waste let's, go in. We. Were not meant to enter, this place. This. Task they. Must complete alone uh. Why. Why. Must they complete it alone there's, not even some vague pre-established, prophecy. She says it based on absolutely, nothing while. Ridley finds marina and escapes with her snails messes, around in damodar's, quarters, and falls into a trap just, like, you thieves.
Always. Taking, things. Don't belong, to. Someone. On, ironically. Wrote that. Just. Let that sink in. We're. Barely over the halfway mark and I want to cast blindness, deafness on myself, snails, runs away while Damodar does the slow, dramatic. Villain. Walk because. He's a serious. Villain. Snails. Finds himself in a dead end and gets his ass kicked, oh but, they needed to do it themselves, because. Reasons. Pick. Up the scroll you idiots. Ridley. Gets badly wounded but marina manages, to get hold of spell components, and saves him before escaping through another portal, with neither of them having picked up the scroll, yes. I, violate. The law in defying the council but, if I were to give you this scepter, my, crime would be graver yet for. I would be defying, my conscience, and our, people, she's. Sounding remarkably, like a tyrant, I mean profion is clearly a villain and acting for his own reasons but letting a sole individual. Have control over dragons, however virtuous, they may be is pretty, risky she refuses to relinquish that power to profion and he and his supporters don't like the idea of a dictatorship, of the proletariat so, the result is civil war the, gang go to an elven city which of course is in a giant tree where Ridley gets healed talk, about a breastplate they get told that using the rod of several will upset the balance of nature they. Try to have a serious, scene between Ridley, and marina that addresses, snails his death and the socio-economic divide, between the two of them but the acting is just not, good enough to carry it. What. The fuck I think. That scared my cat see. Look she wants to escape. Oh cough. These two don't have a single drop of chemistry, to justify, this in their, quest for the rod they head into a dungeon because we've had plenty of dragons but not many dungeons oh man, I gotta tell you as a little kid I was so hyped up when he said dungeon, I was bouncing, in my seat I was so looking forward to a bit of actual, dungeon crawling complete with loot both instant, death traps and mimics, which, are also bought but, there's not much to it he goes in the cave alone falls down a hole opens, a door into a treasure room talks to a skeleton and retrieves the rod while, the other characters, stand outside and their players go on tinder also, it's somewhat, weird that the elven leader would tell them that messing with the rod would threatened to unravel, the fabric of nature but then just let them go and find it without any further arguments. I guess, he cared about as much as the writers did the, Empress summons an army of gold dragons, to attack profion, and his followers that, seems like a drastic, escalation, who's supposed to be the bad guy here the, green screens in this whole section are very noticeable. And I've seen ps1, games with better special, effects. How. Can the Empress lose in this situation. She's got an army, of dragons they, have a couple of majors with fireball, and some scorpions, she, could kill them all very easily but, she loses one, dragon, and suddenly decides to pull back how else was she expecting to win Ridley. Emerges, with the rod only to discover that Damodar, has captured the others predictably. He hands over the rod in exchange, for his friends, and predictably, Damodar, says you, Damodar. Teleports, to prophy ons tower to hand over the rod with Ridley following, just behind and they confront, each other in an epic duel while the two armies of dragons clash in the background, you, have to remember Shan, I suppose, with, the help of his friends who have somehow been able to teleport to the same place let's not even ask Ridley, takes the rod from Procyon and almost, succumbs to the dark side before remembering, that he wants to smash it. The. Battle may be your, majesty, but. Not. Oh god. I love it I love it so much I've, never been so conflicted about a film they, all sit there doing nothing while, profion brings about some impromptu necro, business I guess they thought it'd be cooler to see him getting eaten and it would have been if it hadn't looked so horrendous. The Empress declares that everyone is equal whatever, that means in socio-political. Terms which I'm sure will be agreed upon by everyone and will cause no further arguments. Or unrest, and the ending is ambiguous and optimistically, open-ended. But it's strongly hinting, at the probability, of snails still being alive in some form. They. Really know how to give the audience what they want oh.
Fuck. This movie this. Wasn't the movie DND fans were expecting wanted. Or deserved, pretty, much nobody, even, those who were directly involved, with it holds it in high regard but the person I feel most sorry for in all this is Courtney, Solomon he, been trying to get this movie made for ten years, having, acquired the rights to a Dungeons, & Dragons movie. When he was only 19 and, had intended only on producing, it and then using it to earn his big break in Hollywood, not, knowing the mountain, of behind-the-scenes, issues he'd have to try to surmount, I can't, help but feel bad for the guy and the film really is a testament, to what happens when ambition, and enthusiasm, are hamstrung, by unpleasant. Realities, in, more experienced. And talented hands, perhaps this could have been responsible, for truly bringing D&D, into the mainstream and could, have remained an iconic, part of its culture but, what we got was the opposite ensuring, that no other Dungeons, & Dragons movie, would see a theatrical release, for, the next two decades. There. Would be further installments, in the franchise, but low profile, and straight-to-dvd, and, next, time when we take a look at the first of them will be greeted by a familiar face, you. Must, be. Joking. Don't. Hover then, give me the rod oh. That. Is whack. Thanks. For watching folks once again big shout out to all of my lovely supporters, on patreon, gotta say special thanks to crash dog for being an absolute, legend, and pledging $100. A month and, I didn't even have to suck him off thanks, dude if you like what I'm doing here and want to support the channel consider, becoming a patron yourself, subscribe. For future content follow, me on my social media, to stay up to date and I'll see you in the next one.