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Thursday February 23, 2006
DVD Review: Dungeons and Dragons Gets a Sequel
It used to be that a successful film would get optioned for a sequel, and that "two" movies (sequels) were ALWAYS worse than what came before.
There have been exceptions. Spider Man 2, X-Men 2, and Toy Story 2 were all roundly decreed by critics and audiences alike to have been better films than the ones that spawned their respective film franchises.
Dungeons and Dragons 2: Wrath of the Dragon God calls our attention to a new twist on sequelization: take a movie that sucks hard enough to cause the lens on the projector to start outgassing, but whose franchise lives on in another genre... now, simply try again.
There are those who would tell you that D&D2 is better than D&D1. This is like arguing whether horse pucky makes a better side-dish than cow-pies. Both movies are bad, they're just bad in different ways.
This time around the production team avoided "campiness" and went for a serious fantasy adventure with a few light moments. What they ended up with was, for me anyway, less entertaining than the first film. The action was clunky, the CGI seemed LESS believable than in the first film (I'd have to play them side by side to be sure, but I'm not made of stern enough stuff), and the plot was a topological two-by-four.
The pacing was horrid. Not as bad as BloodRayne (which remains secure in its claim to "worst movie I've ever seen"), but still pretty bad. I think we were almost 40 minutes into the film before we met the heroes who were to go on the quest. Maybe it was only half an hour, but boy, did it drag.
If you're worried about me ruining it for you, please don't. The producers already ruined it. The most interesting thing about the film for me was trying to figure out how the actress who played the elf could have such strong cheekbones and such a weak chin. I suspect makeup.