dir. Courtney Solomon
Even though Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t have the adventurous spirit of the role-playing game it’s named after, there’s one curious way they can be compared. In the role-playing game, players are encouraged to be as creative as possible, which makes for a varied and exciting gaming experience. This movie strangely has the feeling of several different people going away and coming up with their own campaigns, before they’re mashed together in an attempt to make a single cohesive storyline. Unfortunately, the attempt fails. The empress of a fantasy land wants to grant equal rights to all people, commoner or mage, but is opposed by the evil Profion (Jeremy Irons, having all the fun in the world as a deranged, trembling, screaming megalomaniac). Two common thieves are embroiled in the epic struggle and find themselves embarking on a quest to retrieve a magical sceptre which can control red dragons. They’re accompanied by a librarian-mage, a dwarf and an elf, all of whom pop in and out of the storyline arbitrarily. Everything seems so randomly put together that it’s easy to blink and miss the current thread of the plot. The one common thread among our rag-tag band of heroes, though, is that every single character is more irritating and over-acted than the last, from the smirking hero to the wide-eyed love interest. The script is an absolute joke, with evil henchmen muttering the most bafflingly idiotic lines: “Just like you thieves – always taking things that don’t belong to you.” Even worse is the hideous CGI, with the dungeons and the dragons alike looking like the stilted renderings of a mid-90s CD-ROM game – though that’s arguably better than the cheap plastic props used for important ancient relics. Dungeons and Dragons is certainly an entertaining experience, but it has none of the grand scale or compelling narrative it’s supposed to.