tek's rating: ½

Dungeons & Dragons (PG-13)
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This movie is based on the RPG of the same name, which I've never played, but I don't think it hews very closely to the game. It came out in 2000, and I must have seen it sometime thereafter, but by the time I watched it on DVD in 2021, I couldn't remember anything about it except that Thora Birch was in it. It did poorly both critically and financially, which I can understand. For the most part I don't care for the writing, especially for the character Snails. And the actors didn't have much chance of uplifting the writing. Still, I found it somewhat entertaining.

In the Empire of Izmir, mages are the ruling class, and commoners are considered "little more than slaves". But the young Empress Savina (Thora Birch) wants to change that, and make everyone equal. Of course the council of mages are against that, most notably one named Profion (Jeremy Irons). Meanwhile, a pair of thieves named Ridley (Justin Whalin) and Snails (Marlon Wayans) decide to rob the school of magic. While they're there, a professor and a student of his named Marina are attempting to decode a scroll that leads the way to a magical rod that can control red dragons. The professor believes the rod would give Savina an advantage against the Council, who have demanded she relinquish her own sceptre, which controls golden dragons. Profion finds out about the rod, and wants it for himself. He sends the head of the Crimson Brigade, Damodar, to obtain the scroll. He murders the professor and frames Marina for it, along with her "accomplices," Ridley and Snails. So the three of them go on the run (taking the scroll with them), and are soon joined by a dwarf named Elwood. They are tracked by an elf named Norda, who works for Savina. They are also tracked by the Crimson Brigade.

That's pretty much all I want to say about the plot, except that at one point they are caught by Norda (on whom Snails has a crush), and um... later she takes them to meet other elves, including a healer played by Tom Baker (best know from Doctor Who). It was cool to see him. But I think Marina was probably my favorite character in the movie. Anyway, I thought it was weird that the elves said the rod should not be disturbed, because it would upset the balance of nature or whatever, but they still helped Ridley obtain it. Whatever. Lots of other stuff happens in the movie, but I don't want to spoil it.


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