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(Review originally written at 22 September 2007)

Hard to say, was this movie aimed toward children? Anyway this is a rather disjointed and also disappointing adventure movie. The "Dungeons & Dragons" game serials showed some good potential for a full length movie but somehow they basically messed everything up.

It takes too long into the movie before it really starts to take pace and something really interesting occurs. On top of that the story feels messy. It introduces some plot lines in the beginning of the movie, that potentially seemed like good and interesting ones but then suddenly decided to abandon these plot lines for such a long time and starts to concentrate on the extremely formulaic and weak 'adventerous' story-line of the young and totally uninteresting characters. Only after more than halve way through the movie it decides to pick up the first introduced plot-line again, featuring the Thora Birch and Jeremy Irons character. It feels like two totally different and disconnected parts, so when the two of them start to mix it just doesn't work out.

The acting is just plain bad. You know, the sort of bad acting that becomes irritating after a while. This is especially the case with Zoe McLellan and Thora Birch. But of course also the weak and silly dialog doesn't help much. Perhaps it also has to do with the fact that director Courtney Solomon was still completely inexperienced at the time. And who's bright idea was it to cast Marlon Wayans? He feels totally out of place as the comical relief of the movie. And what a waste of the Jeremy Irons role. He perhaps has never played a more stereotypical generic evil movie villain but the movie he does it in is one of his worst. Bruce Payne also acts as if he thinks he is the new Darth Vader. Quite laughable.

Amazing and surprising to see how much this movie tried to be like the Star Wars movies. Many of the characters show similarities, story elements are the same, some sequences are directly copied and really the list goes on and on but these are the three most obvious elements. It's so obvious that it becomes distracting and makes the movie terribly unoriginal to watch. Why did they do this? Wasn't the concept of "Dungeons & Dragons" already original enough on its own? By the way, the Star Wars movies weren't the only movies this movie uses its 'inspiration' from.

The movie really isn't bad looking with its sets and such, though some of the costumes were quite silly looking. It obviously wasn't a cheap movie to make. The special effects are just reasonable for its time but unfortunately the movie relies too hard on it and overuses it in parts, of course mostly notable in the final battle.

The movie has some extremely bad and silly sound effects. I also really hated the music. It seemed to be alway present and I just wanted it to stop! It was the formulaic type of music you would expect from a genre movie like this, only composed by a composer who will obviously never make it big time.

You're better off not watching it.

3/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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