Reviewed by Tempest
No alternate review available
The original movie based on D&D was not really good, it was more a parody of AD&D than a movie based on the pen & paper game. So the sequel didn't have to do much to be better and with barely half the budget of Dungeons & Dragons (2000), it is surprising that they managed to depict something not only better but also definitively more in line with what is truly AD&D.
The first notable thing in this movie is that magic is more present, they even explain the difference between wizard's magic and clerical magic. Dungeons and Dragons players will be pleased to see actual classes, in-game references, creatures and spells (even that teleportation carry some risks) from the game, something sorely lacking in the original. Also, they dropped the weird lip color that was just plain weird.
However, despite these improvements, the movie contain many flaws such as casting lightning bolt almost at will but putting casting limit on other spells just to not disrupt the plot, the one-hit-and-an-enemies-die kind of combat and the not so great CGI. All this was enough to skip the silver screen entirely and release the movie directly to TV and DVD. However, if this movie had a bigger budget, more diversity in the races, it could certainly have been a more memorable movie.
Damodar return in this movie as an undead; he received a curse from Profion that if he ever fail him, Damodar would return as an undead with unbearable agony as sole companion. The movie began with Damodar who manages after a century of search, to find an ancient and very powerful artefact: the Orb of Faluzure. The orb dispelled the curse but Damodar is still seeking revenge against the people who are responsible for his failure and for triggering the curse.
Meanwhile, Derek (Mark Dymond), a minister in the house of the lords and a former captain of the guard, discover that a dragon is asleep in a cave near a small village. This, however, is no ordinary dragon, it is Falazure, the evil night dragon god of decay and undead. Three thousand years before an ancient civilization managed to imprison (since they weren' able to kill the god) the dragon into a mountain and trap his power within a black orb. Since no prison could contain Falazure indefinitely, they put the orb in suspended animation that keeps the Night dragon dormant during all that time. However, this civilization never recovered from the battle with the god and their magic was lost, leaving the orb unprotected. As Damodar explaoited this defensive flaw, he is now in possession of the orb and plan to use the Night Dragon as the tool of his revenge against Ishmir.
To prevent this, a group of adventurer must recover the Orb of Falazure and return it to Ishmir while the Councils of Mages must find a way to place back the orb in suspended animation and thus keeping the Night Dragon from awakening. Lux (Ellie Chidzey), a berserker, Dorian (Steven Elder) a cleric, Ormaline (Lucy Gaskell) an elf wizard and Nim (Tim Stern) a rogue, join Dereck to help him in his quest. While they do not know where Damodar's lair is located, they decide to look for Malex's vault, a place in which lie a scrying device that will enable them to locate Damodar; by having a clear picture of his whereabouts, they will be able to teleport themselves there and so their quest began...
For such a small budget they were able to at least get costume looking medieval and armors are a lot better than in the original movie. The scenery look rather fine but the CGI is poor, computer animations do not really interact with anything which doesn't make them look real. Sometime they reuse the same scene again an again during combat and make the whole thing look a bit cheap.
Sound & Music:
The soundtrack is so-so, I think I remember one music was good, but I didn't notice the soundtrack during most of my first view which in my books mean not bad but not extraordinary either.
At the beginning of the movie when they discover the Night dragon, Berek decides to pull up the eyelid of the dragon to expose his eye, not to attack him but to prove that it's not just rock, it's a real dragon. This is an amateurish mistake in the script, if they wanted to show the eye, the dragon should have opened his eye slightly all by himself as to say "the power of the Orb of Faluzure is fading, I and slowly waking up", otherwise it looks like someone poking a bear in the rear just to conclude that it's not a ball of fur standing there in a cave. Most of the acting is stiff and look scripted. Battles look from fake to extremely unbelievable, for example, when a horde of Damodar's henchmen (maybe 50-60 of them) charge the group of adventurers, Derek (a fighter) and Nim try to solve the puzzle that would allow them to enter Malex's vault while Ormaline and Lux fight the enemies as one man army. When Dorian is crushed by a tree, it's look like the Litch disintegrated him, but he reappears near the boat (several hundred feet away) waiting for the rest of the group. I viewed the scene again and again but the Ormaline (the only character who is able to cast teleport) is not anywhere near him when Dorian "disappear". This is the kind of flaw in the script you find in this movie.
On the bright side, every actor play their character as they should. Nim is knowledgeable about traps and knows how to pick a lock (though when he does it the actors doesn't seem to really know what he is doing). He also make a few good jokes during the movie instead of idiotic humor found in the original. Derek act like a fighter, Lux as a berserker and so on. Only Damodar is left without anything to role-play, he was supposed to be a proficient fighter in the original but now he behaves like a lvl 0 overlord.
Note: the overall is not an average, but more a general appreciation of the movie as a whole.
R a t i n g
|Images:||(5.5/10) - Fair|
|Sound & Music:||(6.0/10) - Average|
|Story line:||(5.0/10) - Fair|
|Acting:||(5.0/10) - Fair|
|Innovation:||(5.0/10) - Fair|
|Educational Value or|
Level of Wisdom:
|(5.0/10) - Fair|
|Overall:||(5.0/10) - Fair
A rating of 5/10 should be considered as something not good but not bad either (# bad points = # good points).