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December 15th, 2000, 08:02 PM
This was a terrible movie. I felt unclean after seeing it, and have started rereading Fellowship of the Rings to cleanse myself. The film had some interesting elements but, alas, they were almost completely ignored.

The scene that best typifies this film is when the heroes finally get to the last leg of the quest and there is a special force-field that keeps out everyone but the human, male, white hero. In fact, in the previous action scene, the elf and dwarf decide not to go, and we end up watching only the humans. I don't know about anyone else, but I was hoping to see a little more of the non-human characters. They looked good and seemed well-cast, which is a lot more than I can say for the humans.

The dwarf is disturbed knapping in the trash and then follows the heroes for, basically, no good reason. There is no scene devoted to him; there is no reason for him to be in the film: the character development here is reminiscent of Battlefield: Earth.

The elf is the captain of the guard, or something, so one can understand why she tags along, but not why she appears to be a friend at the end. Again, she is given very limited screen-time and not developed at all.

These oversights not only make Dungeons and Dragons less interesting to watch, but they subvert its intended political message: one of equal opportunity for all. Ridley, the main character, is from a group--the non-mages--who are discriminated against. Yet, in the film, it is all of the other characters who are discriminated against. The Wayans character is limited to typical side-kick fare, and the other characters are completely marginalized. D&D ends up being a film only about Ridley, and is very boring because of it.

It will be hard waiting a year for a real movie (ie. Fellowship of the Rings).

Lady Fox
December 16th, 2000, 09:59 AM
I wouldn't say that it was a terrible movie, just not as good as it could have been. Yes, some characters could have been developed more or played better, especially the Empress, but did you really expect this movie to be a great work of cinematic art? Come on, it's modeled on a kids role playing game and is directed to those younger viewers, most of whom are male and white. That's why the hero of the movie was male, white, and got most of the significant action. He was the dual role thief/fighter who had the potential to "be something more", just like a player in the D&D game. I wouldn't pay full price for this movie, but it's worth a matinee visit if you are a real D&D fan. Most of us can probably stand to wait for the video release.

December 16th, 2000, 06:22 PM
I was expecting no cinematic art, but I have a certain fondness for D&D, and was disturbed to find the film so limiting. If it had been a film first--like the X-Men-- and Dungeons and Dragons second, it could turn regular people on to it. By focusing so much on the annoying, white male (true, he typifies the typical gamer), they alienate the majority of people out there.

Your point, Lady Fox, is well taken: this is just a film based on a game. There is no denying, however, that a good film would have been better for all.

Umesha Chalanie
March 3rd, 2001, 09:00 PM
I keep on saying I like it, but I guess that's 'cause there aren't that many fantasy films out there, and I'm like 'I love it' when one does come out. Truth is, I got my hopes up way too high because hey, D&D's a great game and I expected the movie to be great...but it wasn't. What you said 6of9 were all important points and they got me thinking, and yes I've come up with they are all pretty significant. I would've loved to see less Ridley action; the only reason I didn't mind too much is 'cause he was played by Justin Whalin! http://www.sffworld.com/ubb/smile.gif

Anyway, the whole point that I'm coming to is that the main aim of movies are usually to provide light entertainment, and I think this was the case with D&D. Maybe we weren't meant to view it as a breakthrough to fantasy films and criticise its weak points, but just to go, eat popcorn, watch and enjoy.