A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Based on the popular role-playing game, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS follows Empress Savina (Thora Birch) on her quest to obtain a magic talisman that will give her power over the Red Dragons and ultimately allow her to overthrow the evil Profion (Jeremy Irons) and his army of Golden Dragons. Aiding the empress are criminals Ridely (Justin Whalin) and Snails (Marlon Wayans) and dwarves Norda and Elwood.
Is it any good?
Kids who like wizards and dragons will want to see this, and they'll probably like the special effects, but the movie could have been much better without too much effort. The convoluted quest at the center of this movie is a lark compared to the long-unrealized search for a fantasy movie with a story engaging enough to match the eye candy that today's special effects can conjure. Dungeons is filmed unimaginatively, with lavishly costumed extras wandering aimlessly as if they were directed to do so, and main characters moving through the cityscapes and landscapes as if nobody would notice a band of singular-looking fugitives glancing furtively about. Situations that would cause any sane person to convulse with dread have our heroes feeling nothing more than a gulp in the throat.
The performances are probably the film's most annoying aspect. Jeremy Irons is breathtakingly overwrought as the chief villain, but his right-hand man, played by Bruce Payne, chews scenery with even bigger bites. And the young leads are just as thuddingly bad. Nearly every performance earned derisive laughs from an audience of teens.