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37 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Much better than the low averaged-rating suggests, for what it is....

Author: goshin34 from United States
14 October 2012

This is a modest-budget swords-and-sorcery fantasy based on Dungeons and Dragons... and for what it is, it is pretty good.

Don't expect Oscar winning performances, but most of the acting is acceptable and some is actually pretty good; the fellow playing the Vermin Lord does a very good job of quietly understated evil.

The effects and creatures are comparable to D&D:WOTDG (the second movie), but it moves faster and there is more action, and more variety in spell use with better imagery, and better fight scenes.

Gladly lacking the first D&D movie's lame humor and misplaced modern sensibilities about egalitarianism, and the slow-paced and stilted wordiness and failed melodrama of the second, this one is a bit more stark and grim than the others, with more actual fighting.

It is also more in line with actual D&D material, 3.5e I believe though the version I am more familiar with was new 30 years ago. :) D&D fans will enjoy it, Swords&Sorcery fans will like it, appreciating it for what it is. If you're looking for deep dialog with Johnny Depp and Julia Roberts, though, perhaps you should look elsewhere.

As for me, I was indeed entertained.

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39 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Better than the previous two movies...

Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark
8 October 2012

Alright, given the reviews and the ratings on IMDb for "Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness" then I was fearing the worst of this movie, especially because the prior two movies were not all that great. (Should be noted that I found the second movie "Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God" better than the first movie.) Despite the critique, bad reviews and overall poor ratings, I decided to give it a go because I am a big Dungeons & Dragons fan (been playing it for some 26 years or so), and if bad came to worse I could always turn it off and find something else to watch.

And having seen it now, I honestly do not understand the critique, the bad reviews and the general moaning there has been about this movie, because in my opinion, "Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness" picks up the prior two movies, slaps them around and then shows what D&D should be like.

In this third movie we follow a party of less than lawful-good characters here in a party out seeking the three parts of the Book of Vile Darkness. And it is refreshing to see a fantasy movie where the main characters are not goody-two-shoes. Sure, there was the devoted of Pelor (the good guy in the movie) thrown into the midst of a vermin lord, goliath, assassin and a sorceress - all of whom are less than your average lawful-good hero. So as a D&D player it was such a blast to have a group of anti-heroes starring as the main characters for a change.

This movie is a blast to anyone well traversed in the D&D universe, because there are some really great aspects to the world; such as you have your iconic D&D items - a vorpal sword (although it is beyond me why it wasn't put to use), a bag of holding, and of course the holy symbol of Pelor. But it was also really interesting to see the prestige classes such as the vermin lord and assassin brought to life on the screen. Personally I was well in favor of the vermin lord, because it was nailed right on the money as it is described in the actual Book of Vile Darkness (D&D 3.5 accessory as published by Wizards of the Coast).

The effects in the movie were actually quite alright and worked out well enough. So again, I must admit that I don't understand the moaning and complaining from other reviewers. It worked to illustrate what it was meant to do. And for fans of the D&D world (and those who own the Book of Vile Darkness 3.5 accessory) there are some really nice touches in terms of spells being used in the movie; spells that were taken right out of the rulebook.

Storywise, well the movie was pretty straight forward, fairly much like participating at a D&D gaming session, so it was alright. The story was somewhat predictable though, but still it was adequate entertainment.

Sure, "Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness" might not have had the same kind of budget and famous Hollywood actors to use as baiting in people, but the ones that they did hire for the roles did adequate jobs with their roles. Sure, it wasn't award-winning acting performances, but still it was worthwhile to watch and everyone did contribute something to the movie.

One thing that did miss from the movie was monsters. You can't really have a Dungeons & Dragons movie without brandishing off a couple of monsters. There was a red dragon, which was cool enough, although it was quite easily defeated, and being familiar with the rules of D&D, it was so strange that the dragon didn't make use of its breath weapon to defeat the 'heroes'. Then there was the undead child, which was a rather interesting creature for them to put into the movie, and the last monster was the wraith-like undead protecting the undead child. I will say that these creatures all looked alright in my opinion and worked out well enough.

If you are a fan of the Dungeons & Dragons game and were discouraged by the previous two movies which were, well, let's just say below average, then you definitely have to treat yourself to "Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness" because it is actually quite good.

I know this review is written with my pro-D&D goggles on, but I just don't see there is any leverage to the complaining and moaning that the movie has been getting. To me, this movie was enjoyable and better than the previous two D&D movies.

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly good

Author: inkkipeipee from Finland
11 November 2012

I really do not understand the low scores on this movie...

Yes, it is low budget, and yes it lacks the shine of those expensive movies...So? The plot is OK, love story is more realistic than in many many other movies, even the characters are believable. I usually find many annoyances in films, even the best ones, but whats very weird, nothing really annoyed me in this one.

I have played D&D games, and many other RPGs, but I don't think thats of any relevance, this is a decent movie for all who like these sword & magic fantasy flicks.

For a low budget movie, even the CG effects are very successful. And there's some more eye candy in the form of a Gothic hot chick ;D I had somewhat low expectations for this one, and I was very positively surprised, so 8/10 for this one, and thanks to other who have commented, wouldn't have watched it without you.

If you are into this kind of movies, try it, you might be surprised too...

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28 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Decent for the Rpg'ers-Pretty lame for the rest.

Author: Vagelis Zaknafein from Kattar
7 October 2012

If you are NOT an RPG player and a DnD fan you should seriously not watch this movie,On the other hand if you ARE a DnD fan then it's worth your while. Keep in mind it's a low budget movie but its much better than the 2 previous ones.You can actually see people LOOT the corpses after battles and the spells used are truly recognizable if you have played DnD 3.5

As i said don't expect anything special but for a fan of this genre that's into Dungeons and Dragons universe it will be an enjoyable movie.

Acting is more than OK on a couple of Characters but pretty bad on the main guy.

For the people unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons the rating should be like 2/10 so don't waste your time.

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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

pleasant surprise

Author: redhighlander from Connecticut, USA
26 November 2012

I went into this film expecting it to be awful. I hated the first two films in the franchise - unlike many here, I thought the 2nd film was far worse than the 1st, and the 1st one was bad. I was pleasantly surprised by this one (the 3rd).

Sure, it is cheesy at times. Some of the dialog is stilted, and the acting is spotty in places (like the shopkeeper, for example). The first battle sequence was worrisomely bad (as in, oh no. . .), but mercifully short. However, the rest of the fights scenes were well done. The CGI was much better than the first two films. While it was still obviously low budget, I have seen worse in theatrical movies. So, it was money well spent.

Remember how embarrassed Jeremy Irons looked in the first movie? There's none of that here. The actors try, and for the most part succeed, in playing their parts well. Some of them were quite good, others are amateurish in parts, but over all they were good.

The story was decent. The script could have used some improvements. Without spoiling anything, the end felt rushed and forced. The tone was a much darker take than previous entries in the serious, and that turns out to be a vast improvement.

I am puzzled by a lot of online reviews / summaries of this film, which describe the plot inaccurately, and even list characters and actors that are not in the movie. Even IMDb lists Meagan Good in the cast, when she's not in it. Clearly, these reviewers have not bothered to watch.

In conclusion, I would watch this for free on cable or Netflix, but it might not be worth paying to see. If you are a fan of D&D, RPGs in general, or S&S films, give it a shot, and you may just like it.If you're not a fan of any of the above, I can't relate to you, so this review may not apply. :-)

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22 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

This wasn't bad at all, actually rather good, in fact.

Author: planchannel7 from United States
25 November 2012

It is a surprise to find a decent, alluring story within this series of films, though I didn't find the 2nd film as bad as others say. I did see a bad trailer for this latest edition, so I wasn't expecting much at all. The production team here found a winning combination mixing more macabre, darker sensibilities with the fantasy, finally,(!) for this seems a better understanding of how it would be. Acknowledging that this entry is of a modest budget, I did find it to be more compelling than the other entries. My only real criteria, is that the ending appeared to be rather hasty, and also, I found the casting the knights father flawed in that he didn't appear old enough.

It is a shame that market constraints for this kind of film are so limited, I would love to see this at a longer running time, and explore these themes as novels are able to do, but given the constraints this production does create an intriguing moral predicament for this knight, and maintains an interesting atmosphere that adds much resonance to the story. Also the acting and the CGI effects are decent, the dragon in particular was surprisingly well done. Here's to a new direction in this series, I hope the creators can explore more fully.

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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Low budget fun fest

Author: mattiasahlberg from Sweden
16 October 2012

I had very poor expectations going in, but was pleasantly surprised by a story that focus on characters that aren't your normal "do good" heroes.

The acting is okay and the effects are on par with the effects you can see on new television shows. The script is better than many of the big budget movies of today, but it's not Lord of the rings. The story is somewhat predictable, but enjoyably.

A few nods to the game can be found throughout the movie, but you could easily get the same enjoyment out of the plot without having ever played the game.

If you like fantasy give it try.

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Average movie; VASTLY better than the previous two

Author: Patrick Martin Frosz Nielsen from Denmark
28 November 2012

Considering the previous two failed attempts at making D&D movies, I was positively surprised at this one. Having followed the Book of Vile Darkness promotion a year past, I knew that the movie was in production for quite some time, along with its source material (the D&D 4th Edition Book of Vile Darkness for those wondering), and there are several references in the movie that will appear more than anything as name dropping or inside jokes - which can be a good thing, provided that you know what is being referred to. To be precise, the Heroic and Paragon tiers are mentioned in regards to magic armor, and the main character also encounters thassil root poison, and both Vicious and Vorpal longswords, along with a Bag of Holding (the last of which is used in a manner that most seasoned D&D players would be proud of). Furthermore, both the sun god Pelor and the Shadowfell, the D&D realm of the dead (along with Gloomwrought, the closest thing it has to a capital city) are mentioned. The inclusion of shadar-kai and a goliath instead of the typical elves and dwarfs is also a nice touch, and in line with this, it breaks with many typical fantasy tropes.

As mentioned above, knowing the source material beforehand can be a boon in the case of this movie, especially since the Book of Vile Darkness in its previous edition was suited only for people aged 18+ because of its... well, "vile" contents, along with a focus on playing evil characters that is unheard of elsewhere in typical D&D, where the player characters are usually the heroes - and the main character in the movie faces some of the same moral quandaries that are mentioned directly in the D&D source material. There is also the fact that the main characters mention a red dragon at some point in the movie that is clearly not a dragon, but a Nhagruul Dragonspawn, and is thus again tied to the Book of Vile Darkness supplement for D&D 4th Edition. It is strange that this isn't mentioned at all in the movie, however.

The acting isn't the best that one could want (maybe except for the Vermin Lord, who fits the bill perfectly) and some of the lines are somewhat illegible at times, but I would praise the story in that it both manages to feel somewhat "realistic" (in-universe at least) while staying interesting and entertaining.

All in all, I would consider this movie a success, in that it was both entertaining and thought- provoking, the latter of which especially with the aforementioned moral quandaries in mind. It's probably not for everyone, but I would recommend it to any somewhat seasoned D&D player, along with anybody interested in a fantasy film a bit darker and grittier than the usual.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Lots of fun!

Author: ChaCha DiGregorio from United States
21 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie has a great story, a surprisingly dark tone, and a solid cast. The special effects are also really well done, particularly considering what must have been a low budget. My boyfriend and I are gamers and old school D&D dorks so we were expecting to be underwhelmed. Instead, we both found this movie to be really entertaining. People and dragons get blowed up "real good", there are some cool witchy spells, an unpredictable villain (Bezz), and the male lead is easy on the eyes. It definitely reminded me of a D&D adventure where a group of evil PCs run amok. Don't let the low budget production value or crowd pleasing cheese scare you off. This is good, cheerful fun.

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18 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Totally worth it

Author: geomatmall from Greece
6 October 2012

OK, so this movie isn't for an Oscar. But it is definitely a D&D movie worthy of the D&D on it's title. In truth, i despised the two previous movies even before watching this, but now this movie just erased them from history. For all the hardcore D&D fans this is a must see. You won't see any playmobil staffs and weapons, you won't watch any stupid jokes. The special effects aren't the best but definitely not the worst either. My rating is 10 not because i believe - as i mentioned before - that it's Oscar material, but because this movie absolutely worths a much better rating than the previous shameful movies that share D&D on their titles.

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