Four years after the sizzling heap of human excrement that was Dungeons and Dragons, everyone’s wounds were more or less balmed by a lower-budget, straight-to-DVD sequel. This was aptly called Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, since it involved a dragon god as part of the story and, unlike the first movie, actually had something to do with D&D. Despite the fact that this film has a way lower budget, it uses that budget to far greater effect. Character designs in this movie are actually pretty cool, the use of makeup and prosthetics is varied (the drow look cool, the lich looks stupid), and the dragon looks remarkably… better than the dragons in the first film. Apparently four years and some actual effort means a lot more than 33 million bucks (the difference in budget between the two films). The thing with this film is that it actually gives a damn, and it shows. The standard use of Vancian magic shows and works properly. Spells work like the spells in the game, characters actually use their skills and class abilities, real deities and locations are used and mentioned (Obad-Hai and Falazure, for starters, play a major role in the plot). The story is, well… I mean, this isn’t a masterpiece or anything. The story involves a villain, it involves travel, it involves getting some stuff to stop a thing and if that thing happens then that thing will probably suck for everyone, hence why it should be stopped. But it has heart. The action’s pretty adequate, the scenery’s great, and there’s some terrific eye candy in the form of the party’s barbarian, Lux. Speaking of “party,” this movie has one. A real one, that actually functions as a party. In the last film, we had two crappy rogues, a crappy mage who didn’t cast spells, and a crappy dwarf who did nothing of import. This one has a badass fighter, a badass rogue, a badass cleric, a super-badass wizard, and a hot, badass barbarian thrown into the mix for kicks. Character development is limited to only a couple of characters (and pretty meager even then), but it makes up for it by having those characters actually use their abilities and show off why they’re important. Now, if you don’t play the game, then this movie will be… eh, mediocre. It isn’t really bad by any stretch of the imagination, especially considering its budget, and if you wanna sit down for a somewhat-campy fantasy movie you’ll probably enjoy it until it’s over, then never think about it again. It’s good, it has a decent little quest, and it’s well-done enough to more or less immerse you into the world it creates. If you do play the game, and you’re still tending to the scars that the first film left, then Wrath of the Dragon God is everything it could possibly need to be. It has a mighty quest, it has a sprawling dungeon, it has cities and taverns and scrolls and monsters (actual monsters, like darkmantles and magmins!). It has a real party in which the members rely on each other and form a bond with one another, and the rogue actually finds and disarms a trap in an awesome way (as opposed to the first film, in which all the “rogue” does is kind of run past traps and hope they don’t get him). So, if you aren’t a fan of fantasy, you’ll think the film’s campy and stupid. For the casual moviegoer, you’ll probably think it’s alright. For those who traditionally enjoy sword-and-sorcery, you’ll think it’s pretty cool. And if you’re sitting there right now thinking “Wait, they made another movie? And it’s good?!” then stop what you’re doing and go see it right now. Since this is neither horrible nor particularly thought-provoking, I don’t really have all that much to say about it, so I’m not gonna ramble on for too long on this. It’s a breath of fresh air after the mound of feces New Line Cinemas put out, but don’t get too comfortable… we’re not out of the woods yet. Because seven years later, with the same budget they used to make this movie… they made another one. See larger image Dungeons & Dragons 2-Movie Collection [Blu-ray] New From: $7.99 USD In Stock Dungeons & D-Listers: D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God3.0Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Scott D There is a neat Easter egg in the extras – one of the commentaries features two of the iconic D&D 3rd edition characters riffing on what’s happening on screen. That’s well worth the cost of the DVD there. Kelvin Green Yeah, I wouldn’t go as far as saying that this is a good film but it’s okay and it’s miles better than the first one. I think they made the first one to try to appeal to a wide audience and had no idea what they were doing — the rubbish Jimmy Olsen as the lead? Really? One of the Lesser Wayanses? REALLY? — but they aimed this one at the D&D fans and did a much better job. I’m not sure at whom they were aiming the third one. Deaf-blind people perhaps.