Saturday, 22 October 2011

Why Dungeons and Dragons was the BEST movie ever {Movies}

In 2000, a film emerged that would change the movie landscape forever. The film was so beyond its time, so well-acted and had such an intricate plot, I'm quite comfortable in calling it the greatest film of all time. What is this monumental celluloid achievement?

Dungeons and Dragons, my friends.


I know what you're thinking: Scott, you're on acid. Maybe, maybe not. However I'm here to defend this masterpiece to the death. So let's get started.

The main protagonist is Ridley Freeborn, played by Justin Whalin, well known for popular movie Serial Mom. He is a thief and along with his best friend Snails, decide to break into the magic school to steal whatever they can get their hands on. Right off the bat we get a likeable sidekick in the form of Snails, whose charm shines through the entire movie. There they meet a beautiful librarian mage called Marina and get into a heated but comical exchange. The dialogue is as sharp as any Kevin Smith film and it just goes to show that fantasy can be oscar material. Of course, the three must make a quick escape when Damodar,  the henchman
of main antagonist Profian, played by Jeremy Irons, comes in and tries to get a wizard to tell him where a map with the location of a magic artefact is. The artefact in question is a red rod that can control red dragons - which is an interesting and well thought out plot device.

Irons plays a subtle and intelligent villain

Irons is an incredible villain and plays Profian with subtlety and panache. He can portray an emotion with the tiniest facial expression and his annunciation is impeccable. Bruce Payne as Damodar is amazing too, with his intimidating demeanour. Some people were confused by his blue lipstick, but it's obviously supposed to represent coldness.

Ridley and Marina get sucked into the magical map and when they emerge they realise they must work together to find the Eye of the Dragon, a ruby that opens the tomb where the red sceptre is kept. The special effects are stunning, especially when the two are being sucked into the map. Ridley has to then navigate a maze in a den of thieves, which is full of traditional D&D traps.

"A special effects extravaganza"

Marina is captured by Damodar and tortured in a grotesque and gritty scene. Ridley and Snails meet an elf called Norda who is loyal to the good Empress Savina (Thora Birch). Thora makes a stunning performance and at one point she made me shed a tear.

A harrowing interrogation scene
Then comes an intense scene where Ridley and Snails break Marina out of her prison. SPOILER ALERT: Snails is callously murdered by Damodar in one of the most emotionally intense death scenes I have seen in any film. I never cry at films but by now I was bawling my eyes out, curled up on the floor and reaching towards the TV in desperation. Snails was gone and I couldn't take it.

I still weep to this day
Ridley and Marina fall in love in a heart warming scene before finding the red sceptre but having it stolen by Damodar. They chase him to the Empress's castle where Profion uses the sceptre to summon an army of dragons to do his bidding. What follows is perhaps the best battle in any film, where dragons fly around the skyscape and Ridley and Profion battle in the castle. My heart was pounding so hard and I was phyiscally rooting to Ridley to take Profion down. Eventually SPOILER ALERT a gold dragon eats Profion and the world becomes peaceful once more.

Memorable characters
I won't give away the ending, but it does leave it open to my favourite character, Snails, to stay alive. I really hope they make another movie where Snails is the main character. He may be the best actor of our generation.

In summary, Dungeons and Dragons was a triumph of film-making and belongs in the same category as classic such as Casablanca and The Godfather. Incredible acting, special effects and script. You MUST see this film.