Very few films manage to get everything wrong but every so often one comes along (The Room, Troll 2) and reminds us just how rubbish a rubbish film can be. Enter Dungeons and Dragons, a film so awful it literally auto-erased itself from our memories...until we remembered Jeremy Irons that is!
Irons really saves D&D from being THE worst film of the noughties (congrats Tommy Wiseau, your title remains intact!), his intense overacting bringing hilarity at every turn. The man appears to ejaculate in every shot and his cartoonish madness rivals even the wackiest of Jim Carrey performances. Jeremy Irons is, in a word, unbelievable here and D&D is worth watching if only to watch the guy flip out and make cum faces whilst holding phallic rods and sceptres.
He is given fine hammy support by Bruce Payne, whose blue lipstick, ear worms, slow speech and constant silly face-making makes for one of the silliest looking/sounding henchmen in any film. And although the leads come in the shape of Justin Whalin (Jimmy Olsen in the Lois and Clark TV series) and *shudder* Marlon Wayans (most annoying man alive), there is far worse than all that: Thora Birch. How Birch managed to fit in such a horrendous performance in between the rather good American Beauty and cool teen flick Ghost World will remain a shocking mystery. The search for her career continues...
The cast may be the real treat D&D has to offer but it isn't its only flaw. Just about everything else fails also: the writing is juvenile, the direction is a mess, the editing and sound are both clunky and the special effects are worse than the lamest-looking Doctor Who episodes.
Bad movie aficionados will find plenty of joy here as every word uttered by Irons quietly becomes vintage. Everyone else: beware. If you liked the game, I guess you'll probably want to give the film a miss after all you've heard about it but really you should watch it anyway just to check out Irons' Tex Avery bad guy and Thora Birch's soulless puppet monotone princess.
Overall, Dungeons and Dragons may indeed have fire-breathing dragons and a crap-looking CGI dungeon but there's way too much ham, Marlon Wayans and way too little talent to sustain it as a decent film. As it stands, it's a bloated, comical mess which, indeed, pretty much gets everything wrong.
Let their blood rain from the skyyyy!