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Dungeons & Dragons: A Documentary will be a definitive look at the game Dungeons & Dragons and its place as a cultural phenomenon, covering its history, appeal and effect. A game like no other, with influences far-reaching and subtle.
E. Gary Gygax
The Empire of Izmer has long been a divided land. The Mages - an elite group of magic-users - rule whilst the lowly commoners are powerless. Izmer's young Empress, Savina, wants equality and prosperity for all, but the evil Mage Profion is plotting to depose her and establish his own rule. The Empress possesses a scepter which controls Izmer's Golden Dragons. To challenge her rule, Profion must have the scepter, and tricks the Council of Mages into believing Savina is unfit to hold it. Knowing that Profion will bring death and destruction to Izmer, Savina must find the legendary Rod of Savrille, a mythical rod that has the power to control Red Dragons, a species even mightier than the Gold. Enter two thieves, Ridley and Snails, who unwittingly become instrumental in Savina's search for the Rod. Joined by a feisty Dwarf named Elwood, and helped by the Empress's expert tracker, the Elf Norda, the young heroes go in search of the Rod of Savrille. From the deadly maze of the Thieves Guild... Written by
Wizards of the Coast
Poor delivery, so-so effects and laughable performances all combine to produce a film that will barely appeal to kids
Ridley and Snails are thieves in the underclass of their world. Breaking into the magic school to steal they are captured by Marina but, when her master is killed, the thieves find themselves drawn into an attempt by the evil Profion to use the power of a lost sceptre to seize control from Empress Savina, who is trying to reform and make all men equal.
It is hard to really judge the plot of this film because I'm sure it could have been a rollicking, engaging "swords & sorcery" affair and it is only the delivery here that has turned it into a massive, insulting pile of rubbish. The way that the characters have to explain every single action in BIG LETTERS for the audience was something that grated on me and took me from thinking of it as lazy writing to finding it offensive that the writers thought I was too stupid to follow the story myself. Instead of being a strong narrative the film is just a basic adventure for kids, with effects and noise to keep them distracted. As such it is still only so-so because even children might struggle to care about the unimpressive CGI backgrounds and action set pieces. It'll please the very undemanding genre fan under 12 years old but unlikely many others.
The characters are another major failing who thought that writing obnoxious, annoying or smug characters across the leads would cause an audience to be engaged by them? With this to work with, is it any wonder that the cast are roundly poor? Whalin must have thought his luck was in when he landed this role, but he messes it up with a performance that shows he is out of his depth and unsure of himself. McLellan is bland and quite irritating for the majority of the film but her faults pale in comparison to a trio of performances that stick in the mind as the worst of the film. Irons hams it up with all the carelessness of a pro who knows an easy payday when he sees it he is hilariously terrible at times. Payne's blue lipstick seems to have affected his voice and every line is delivered as a sneer it is never menacing and quickly becomes tiresome. However the worst performance is form, surprise surprise, Wayans who made me understand what Spike Lee's Bamboozled was getting at. He is a shrieking, mugging ethnic cliché even worse than he usually does and even more annoying. The odd cameo from O'Brien or Baker do nothing to stop the rot and the cast add to the impression that this was cheaply made without much love.
Overall a poor film that will probably only appeal to kids. The plot is badly delivered and the effects are not as impressive as director Solomon was clearly banking on them being. The cast are lost in the middle of it all and not a single on of them gives a performance that you could call "good", all in all producing a pretty poor attempt at a blockbuster.
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