Dungeons & Dragons (film)

Dungeons & Dragons

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Courtney Solomon
Produced by Courtney Solomon
Thomas M. Hammel
Kia Jam
Steve Richards
Written by Carroll Cartwright
Topper Lilien
Starring Justin Whalin
Marlon Wayans
Jeremy Irons
Thora Birch
Bruce Payne
Zoe McLellan
Kristen Wilson
Lee Arenberg
Music by Justin Caine Burnett
Cinematography Douglas Milsome
Editing by Caroline Ross
Studio Silver Pictures
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) December 8, 2000 (2000-12-08)
Running time 107 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Box office $33,807,409

Dungeons & Dragons is a 2000 American fantasy film directed by Courtney Solomon and ostensibly based on the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Among the more notable features of the otherwise poorly received film are cameo appearances by Richard O'Brien (in a parody of his TV programme The Crystal Maze) and Tom Baker.

Despite its mediocre box-office performance, a made-for-DVD sequel, Dungeons & Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God was released in 2005. It did not directly continue on the storyline of the previous film, though Bruce Payne's character, Damodar, makes a return.

Contents

Plot

Jeremy Irons as Profion and Bruce Payne as Damodar

The Empire of Izmer has long been a divided land. Ruled by the Mages, an elite group of magic users, who oppress the lower Commoners. The antagonist of the film, an evil mage named Profion (Jeremy Irons) creates a sceptre that allows him to control Gold Dragons. He tries it out on a golden dragon, but the dragon breaks the spell on the sceptre, and starts killing Profion's minions. Profion kills the dragon, which bleeds into the river, causing it to catch fire. Many of the inhabitants notice, entering the protagonists of the film, a pair of thieves named Ridley (Justin Whalin) and Snails (Marlon Wayans). Ridley wants to give the mages some "payback", and Snails mocks Ridley by calling him "Ridley the Savior". They conspire to break into the Magic School, the elite learning place of the Mages, and steal magic items.

Later, Profion and the Council talk about the controversial views of Empress Savina (Thora Birch); who wants to stop Profion and free the commoners, who are non-magic users. Meanwhile, Ridley and Snails break into the magic school and begin to steal magical items, but are caught by a young mage named Marina (Zoe McLellan) when Snails pushes a button on one of the stolen items. She gets distracted, and pulls Ridley and Snails along with her when the Library wizard is held hostage and interrogated by Profion's henchmen, Damodar (Bruce Payne), for info on where the map to a magic sceptre, called the Rod of Saville, that can control Red Dragons is. He refuses to talk and sends the map to Marina, and is at once killed by Damodar. Marina gets the map and travels through a magic portal to escape, dragging Ridley and Snails with her. After crashing into a pile of garbage, they meet a dwarf named Elwood (Lee Arenberg), who ends up joining Ridley, Snails and Marina escaping through a sewer.

Damodar puts a price on Marina, Ridley, Snails and Elwood's heads. After letting Profion know that the protagonists got away with the map, Profion creates a tentacled monster inside Damodar's head. The protagonists hide in a tavern and read the map when Ridley and Marina get sucked into it. Damodar and his henchmen arrive and attempt to capture Snails and Elwood as well as obtain the map, but they manage to get away. Outside the inn, Ridley and Marina exit the map and all decide to work together to find the Rod of Saville. They have to find a red ruby called the "Eye of the Dragon" that can open the door to a tomb where the Rod rests. The ruby is located in a hazardous maze that is owned by a thief named Xilus (Richard O'Brien) who'll give the protagonists the "Eye of the Dragon" if Ridley survives the maze and obtains the ruby. Ridley manages to get the "Eye of the Dragon", but Xilus then attempts to take the ruby by force when Damodar shows up. Marina gets captured while Ridley, Snails and Elwood escape, meeting an elf named Norda (Kristen Wilson) who works as a tracker for Empress Savina and informs the Empress about Profion's plans to get the Rod of Saville. Meanwhile, Damodar tries interrogating Marina, but when she refuses to talk, Damodar uses the tentacles of the monster in his head to gain the knowledge he seeks.

Ridley and Snails break into the castle where Marina is imprisoned to rescue her, while Norda and Elwood stay behind. Ridley and Snails split up and Ridley finds Marina. Snails falls into a quicksand trap in Damodar's room after finding the map and some magical powder. Snails is then chased through the castle by Damodar, while Ridley and Marina fight to get back out. They follow Snails and Damodar to the roof where Snails is killed by Damodar when he throws the map to Ridley. Ridley becomes enraged at Damodar and attacks him, but Damodar disarms him and stabs him in the shoulder with his own sword. In the confusion Marina grabs some of the magic dust that Snails pilfered and casts a spell to knock down Damodar and picks up Ridley. She then uses a portal to help them escape, leaving the corpse of Snails behind. Back at the council chambers, Profion and Empress Savina battle over the future of Izmir.

Meanwhile, an elf (Tom Baker) heals Norda's soldiers and Ridley. Ridley has a dream of a dragon being born, and learns that if Damodar and Savina go to war, it will tip the balance of magic in the world. Later, Ridley accuses Marina of being an "evil mage", because of the Mages' oppressions of the Commoners. Marina tells Ridley that he is wrong, and that the Empress is trying to solve all of the things that Ridley hates. Eventually, they become love interests and Ridley uses the "Eye of the Dragon" to finally get the Rod of Saville, which is held by the Skeleton of Saville in the tomb. The skeleton comes to life and warns Ridley that "anyone who wields the power of the rod shall suffer a horrible fate". Meanwhile, Damodar arrives outside and captures the other three companions. When Ridley comes out, Damodar requests the Rod in exchange for his companions. Ridley gives the Rod to Damodar, who orders the execution of Ridley and his companions; then turns to leave to complete his mission. Norda stabs her guards with hidden knives, frees Marina and Elwood and they all follow Ridley to the capital city of Sumdall.

Meanwhile, in Sumdall, Profion uses Mages to fight the Empress. Savina calls forth Gold Dragons and they fight the Mages. Damodar shows up with the Rod, and Profion reluctantly frees Damodar from the creature in his head (this is addressed in Wrath of the Dragon God). Profion then climbs to a high platform to summon Red Dragons to fight the Gold Dragons. Ridley arrives and battles Damodar, stabbing him and throwing him from the ledge, avenging Snails. He then attacks Profion, who disarms him and shoves him back. Ridley's companions arrive and fight Profion one at a time. Ridley picks up the fallen Rod of Saville, and fights the power it holds. Profion encourages Ridley to use the Rod, but Ridley refuses and destroys it. Empress Savina arrives and condemns Profion, having a Gold Dragon come and eat him. She praises all of the adventurers, hailing them as heroes.

Ridley later visits Snails' grave (with a voice over of Savina telling the people of Izmer that they are now all equal), where he tells Snails that he is now "Ridley the Savior", echoing Snails' claim at the beginning of the film. Snails' engraved name then disappears and Norda tells Ridley not to question his abilities. Ridley, Norda, Marina and Elwood then touch the "Eye of the Dragon" and dissipate magically, ending the film.

Cast

Reaction

Critical reaction to the film was largely negative. The film has a score of 10% at Rottentomatoes.com and is rated poorly - 3.6 - on the Internet Movie Database. Reasons given for this include the writing, direction, script, and camerawork of its producer/director, Courtney Solomon, and the acting of Marlon Wayans, Jeremy Irons, and Thora Birch.

Solomon blamed the quality of the film on its investors and license-holders' interference, as well as his own inexperience in filmmaking. He states that he had only intended to produce the film, but was forced to direct by his investors after nearly a decade of complications dealing with TSR and Wizards of the Coast. He also claims that he was forced to use an older script despite having written an updated version that fit the Dungeons and Dragons license better.[1]

Box office

The film opened at #5 at the North American box office making USD$7,237,422 in its opening weekend.[2] The film would go on to gross $15,220,685 in the domestic box office, short of the film's $35 million budget, and with an international gross of $18,586,724, coming up with a worldwide total of $33,807,409.

Roleplaying game

Wizards of the Coast released a Fast-Play Game based on the movie called "The Sewers of Sumdall". It is a DVD-ROM feature on the DVD as a printable PDF file.[3][4]

See also

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

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