Quick DVD Review – ‘Dungeons & Dragons’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

It’s time to talk about another present that Stephen, my best mate from school, gave me for Christmas last year. 🙂 Since the new ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ movie is coming out soon this year, it’s only fair that I check out the original ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ movie that was released back in 2000. 🙂

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is based on the fantasy tabletop role-playing game of the same name. I’ve not played the game myself, so it was interesting to see this movie version of the game to find out what it’s like. This movie was released before ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films happened. And it clearly shows.

Upon release, ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ was a box office and a critical failure. It has gained a cult following over the years though, having earned two sequels – one made for TV and one direct to DVD. I enjoyed seeing ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ on DVD, but I wouldn’t say that this is a masterpiece. 😀

For one thing, the CGI effects are rather dated, including the dragons that appear in the film as well as what I believe to be CGI models of a castle. The performances of some actors can be over-the-top too, including Jeremy Irons who plays the main villain of the movie (which I’ll talk more about later).

The film focuses on a world that is dominated by magic. It dominates the Empire of Izmer where an empress wishes to acquire a mythical rod that will help her in her fight against an evil wizard. Two thieves get caught up in the quest to acquire the mythical rod and fight off the evil wizard’s minions.

Justin Whalin stars as the film’s main hero – a rogue and thief called Ridley Freeborn. Apparently, Justin Whalin plays Jimmy Olsen in Seasons 2 to 4 of ‘Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman’, which I’m currently enjoying on DVD. I did enjoy his performance as Ridley in this movie.

Marlon Wayans stars as Snails, Ridley’s friend and another rogue and thief. Compared to Ridley, I found Snails annoying, matching to the level of Chris Tucker in ‘The Fifth Element’. 😀 It was tragic when he got killed, but I wish he was more likeable and less annoying since he tended to be an idiot.

There’s Zoe McLellan as Marina Pretensa, a young Mage (who is a wizard in her world) and potentially Ridley’s love interest. There’s Lee Arenberg as Elwood, a dwarf fighter. Clearly, Elwood must be a distant cousin of Gimli from ‘The Lord of the Rings’. He even has his axe to fight people. 😀

There’s also Kristen Wilson as Norda, an elven ranger. Mind you, she seems more Vulcan from ‘Star Trek’ than an elf, particularly with the lack of emotions in her character as well as her hairstyle. Ridley, Snails, Marina, Elwood and Norda are clearly five main heroes which we’re meant to root for.

So, going back to Jeremy Irons as the villainous Mage Profion, his performance as a villain in this movie is way over-the-top. It’s pretty laughable. I’ve seen Jeremy Irons as a villain in ‘Die Hard with a Vengeance’ and he voiced the villainous Scar in 1994’s ‘The Lion King’. He’s brilliant in those films.

Here, his over-the-top villainous performance matches to Graham Crowden’s performance as Soldeed in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘The Horns of Nimon’. I can’t believe I’ve written that. 😀 And yet, Jeremy Irons in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ is greatly entertaining and enjoyable. You must see this film to believe that! 😀

There’s Bruce Payne as Damodar, Profion’s assistant, who decided to have blue make-up on his lower lip. 😀 And there’s Thora Birch, who I’ve seen in ‘Monkey Trouble’, as Empress Savina. I’m very disappointed Thora Birch’s character didn’t have a lot of screen time or a bigger role in this movie. 😦

The film also features Edward Jewesbury as Vildan Vildir and Richard O’Brien as Xilus, the leader of a thieves’ guild. And believe it or not, Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor from ‘Doctor Who’, makes a cameo appearance as Halvarth the Elf in this movie. I was surprised to find out he was in this movie.

This was after doing Puddleglum in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair’, I believe. 😀 I found this film’s ending very abrupt where Ridley and his friends get turned into pixie dust before they go off somewhere. I assume this gets followed up in the sequels or something. Otherwise, it’s very bizarre.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ has been an enjoyable movie flick to check out on DVD. I can’t say it’s great, but it has got me geared to check out the remake movie in 2023. I’m sure that will be enjoyable too. The highlights of this movie for me are Jeremy Irons’ over-the-top performance and Tom Baker’s cameo appearance.

This is like a ‘so bad, it’s good’ film for me. 😀

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂

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