Dungeons And Dragons
To save their kingdom from an evil politician, a band of adventurers go on a predictable mission jam-packed with cheesy one-liners.
Ridley (Justin Whalin) and his not-as-funny-as-writers-intended sidekick Snails (Marlon Wayans) are petty thieves who sign up to lead a clueless group of adventurers on a mission to save their kingdom from the evil clutches of Profion (Jeremy Irons). Their task? To find the staff that controls deadly red dragons for Empress Savina (Thora Birch) before Profion does. This one is as cliché as they come. For a film that took 10 years to write and produce, its criminal to make an audience sit through a barrage of cheesy lines like, "Just like a thief, always taking what doesn't belong to them."
Irons is the only real reason to see this film. His Profion oozes hate and evil from every pore of his lanky body. And each line, albeit cheesy, is delivered with a lustful passion of a man who's burning to take over the Empress' kingdom. Unfortunately, his screen time is minimal, which leaves little reason to see this stinker of a flick. Wayan's Snails tries way too hard to be funny and is simply annoying. No doubt his character was brought on to draw the urban audience and to provide comic relief which never comes. After her stellar performance in "American Beauty," it's disappointing to see Birch struggle. Her performance as a young Empress fighting to hold on to her kingdom is painfully awkward and forced.
To her favor, director/producer Courtney Solomon's adaptation of the fantasy role-playing game has remained faithful to the rules of Dungeons & Dragons. All the character fight and function within their strengths and capacities laid out by the game. However, that doesn't mean much to those who don't play D&D. Solomon, along with screen writers Topper Lilien and Carroll Cartwright, have taken what could have been a fun, adventure-filled film and given it a goofball, light-hearted spin that doesn't fit the premise.
Save the money. "Dungeons & Dragons" should make it to video stores by next week.