Holy fucking shit. Why? Seriously, why? Of all the damn things to make a damn movie of, why the classic geek game “Dungeons & Dragons”? Especially since you know that 99% of Hollywood executives beat up or made fun of the kids who played D&D. Of course, from the looks of the trailer, it makes sense why those executives greenlit this film - to collectively beat up the nouveaux wave of “D&D” techno geeks conquering the world by trashing the world of fantasy created by the game1.
The trailer starts out with some rejected bell tolling from AC/DC's “Hell's Bells” and some swooping CGI footage of a giant castle2. Then the obligatory bass voiceover guy pipes in with the obligatory “In a far away world” set-up3. The audience sees a young girl dressed in some gaudy and outlandish outfit speaking to a room of people, telling them that all people deserve to be treated equally. Nope, this young, idealistic Empress, decked out in duds so ugly that you'd think Versace came back from the dead and designed them, is not Queen Amidala. Nope, rather it's Thora Birch from “American Beauty4.” But in a surprise and original shocker that George Lucas is laughing at, Jeremy Irons5 interrupts and decries that the young leader isn't fit to rule an empire. Why he doesn't get Ray Park and the Trade Federation to go after her is anyone's guess.
Anyway, the trailer jumps to a clip of some decent movie make-up in the form of an orc…or a troll. Or something6. Well, when Irons, representing “the forces of darkness,” decides to get power hungry, he commissions the help of some bald guy with blue lip gloss to help him with his PR and consult him on controlling dragons7 which he can in turn use to destroy the Empress. To be honest, I don't know how a super bad CGI army of dragons could accomplish the task of crushing a girl. Hell, a decent looking CGI dragon voiced by Sean “Dreamy” Connery could barely bring a movie into the black.
Moving on, there's some other plot points about the Empress fighting back by hiring Andersen Consulting to tell her to downsize her royal court and obtain some magic rod that would allow her to control Red Dragons8. As if things weren't bad enough, the movie decides to introduce a character played by a Wayans brother. And not just any Wayans brother, but Marlon Wayans, and we remember how well he did at the MTV Music Awards9. Wayans and his “good looking” buddy10 play thieves who manage to get entangled in the battle by being drafted into locating the magic rod11.
So, Irons unleashes his dragons, and we get some text about how when you think you're safe, you're in more danger, along with similar dichotomous statements. There are a few clips of sword fighting scenes, more comedy courtesy of Marlon Wayans, and some showy shots of the “impressive” “special” effects. Whatever. Taking a cue from “Cube,” our heroes need to find their way through a maze to accomplish their task, or maybe just for fun. It's not really clear in the trailer, but it does provide the preview makers a chance to incorporate lots of footage of flames, people jumping, and penitent men kneeling, all to the “Stargate” score.
Just when you thought you were safe, the trailer decides to introduce the more spiritual aspect of the movie when Wayans is required to accomplish some task by himself. Someone should dig up Joseph Campbell to do commentary about the Hero's Journey for the “D&D” DVD when it comes out in three months. Oh, and the trailer tosses in the romance element as our “good looking” hero SUCKS FACE with our Empress12. If we're unlucky, we'll enjoy several “D&D” follow-ups after he knocks her up and turns evil. However, I firmly believe that there is a God and he would never allow something so painful to hurt his children.
There are even more shots of poor CGI D&D monsters13, all designed to make “D&D” geeks cream their pants in the movie theater, as opposed to in their moms' basement. And there are even more shots of dragons flying around and fighting, as well as Irons yelling about his “destiny.” The trailer finally ends with what sounds like part of “O Fortuna,” and that's really not a good thing, even though trailers seem to have shied away from using it of late. Anyway, crap.
I don't know, maybe this movie would have had a modicum of value if it were at least “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” and not just “D&D.” Maybe14. Honestly, it would have been better if Hollywood turned the “D&D” cartoon from the 80s into a movie, at least a direct-to-video movie. Sure, that was one suck ass cartoon, but it's still a better thing than this movie15. Plus it had that fugly and freaky looking flesh colored Yoda as the Dungeon Master, and the obviously gay Harry Potter-ish wizard.
In the end, you should do more than avoid this movie, because as with “Urban Legends,” I will be there to kick you in the nutzzzzzz if you buy a ticket to see “Dungeons & Dragons.” Oh, may my magic missiles and moss armor help me, I will 2D6 my foot right into your magic jewel sack for massive hit point damage16. Seriously, you're more likely to find better entertainment for your buck at nightclubs named “The Dungeon” or “The Dragon,” so go do that to save your nutzzzz.
1. As if to yell, "YOU COULD HAVE BEEN DATING!"
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