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Dungeons and Dragons

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Dungeons and Dragons

Starring: Jeremy Irons, Justin Whalin
Director: Courtney Solomon
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 125 Minutes
Release Date: December 2000
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Thora Birch, Marlon Wayans, Lee Arenberg, Tom Baker, Bruce Payne, Kristen Wilson, Robert Miano, Zoe McLellan

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Susan Granger review follows movie review
2.  Dustin Putman read the review movie reviewmovie review
3.  Steve Rhodes read the review video review

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

What's in your imagination is usually far better than what filmmakers can project on the screen and never was that more true than with this tedious sword & sorcery epic that lifts liberally from "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Hercules," "Xena: Warrior Princess" and the old "Sinbad" movies. Based on an elaborate role-playing game which has intrigued young minds since 1974, the plot revolves around a young thief (Justin Whalin), his buddy (Marlon Wayans), and a pretty magician (Zoe McLellan) who become embroiled in a battle between the idealistic Empress of Izmer (Thora Birch), who wants equality and prosperity for all her people, and the evil sorcerer Profion (Jeremy Irons), who wants to depose her. Since the Empress has a scepter to summon Golden Dragons, Profion dispatches his henchman (Bruce Payne) to find the Rod of Savrille that summons a stronger species, the Red Dragons. Written by Topper Lilien & Carroll Cartwright and directed by Courtney Solomon, it's quite confusing and complicated. The acting, however, is abominable. Justin Whalin - dismissed by the villain as "Pretty Boy" - smirks and struts like Han Solo, while Marlon Wayans mugs outrageously in a JarJar Binks imitation and Thora Birch does her Princess Leia routine. Jeremy Irons is ludicrous with his leers, and Bruce Payne has a perpetual sneer on his metallic blue lips. So where's the $36 million budget? Visual effects. I did like the elves with their Vulcan ears, but movies based on games rarely satisfy their core audience. Remember "The Super Mario Brothers" and "Clue"? On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Dungeons & Dragons" is a cheap, cheesy 3. At one point, Wayans wails, "This is dumb, dumb, dumb." I agree. And Payne promises, "It was a mistake. It will not happen again." One hopes.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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