Dungeons and Dragons (2000)
Young Empress, Savina wishes to make great changes to the kingdom of Izmer, establishing equality for everyone, not just the Mages. But the evil Profion plots to usurp her control. Meanwhile, Ridley and Snails are two thieves, unhappy with the Mages’ dominance. While stealing from the Mages, the two find themselves wrapped up in a search for a mythical rod that could mean certain destruction if it falls into Profion’s hands. The film has an impressive cast including: Jeremy Irons (Profion), Bruce Payne (Damodar), Justin Whalin (Ridley), Marlon Wayans (Snails), Thora Birch (Empress Savina) and Zoe McLellan (Marina). The comical and almost cartoonish feel make for a fun and light-hearted fantasy with plenty of magic, dragons, and heart. Those unfamiliar with the game (like me) with little-to-no expectations, this was a fun and fast-paced adventure when it released in 2000. Re-watching it in 2011, I found it much more corny, with out-dated special effects. Yet, it was still enjoyable following the thief characters and their party.
Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005)
Damodar plans revenge against the kingdom of Izmer, capturing a powerful orb in order to summon a dragon to destroy the kingdom. The warrior Berek and mage Melora, along with a diverse group of heroes, fight to reach the orb before Damodar’s plans unfold. Bruce Payne (Damodar) is the only returning main character for the sequel. Though, the acting and special effects once again fall flat. The pacing is off and I became confused several times throughout the film, wondering if familiarity with the game is necessary to understand all of the plot elements. This sequel has little else in common with its predecessor. Where the previous was fun and light-hearted, this installment is very violent and humorless. A definitive quest-like adventure, the highlight of the film is the diverse party’s various encounters with monsters along their quest.
Dungeons & Dragons 1 & 2 is now available on Blu-Ray with plenty of extras, including a game points gift card for the online game.