What You Need To Know:
The special effects in DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS are spectacular. The filmmakers have managed to find some wonderful medieval sets in Prague, where the movie was shot. The acting and characters are, however, very uneven. Irons, for instance, badly overacts, which destroys the reality and tension of the story. Also, the worldview of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS is a pagan one that fosters moral and cultural relativism in its politically-correct notions of diversity and “equality.” There are some moral and redemptive elements, however, including a possible resurrection at the end of the story. All this just might make people want to wait for the movie version of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, which is scheduled to start coming out next Christmas.
(OOO, PaPa, PCPC, B, C, L, VVV, AA, D, M) Occult worldview of magic set in a pagan fantasy adventure world, with naïve, politically correct sentiments plus some moral & redemptive elements such as people sacrificing their lives to defeat evil & a potential resurrection at the end; 8 mild obscenities; action violence with some blood & many scary moments of good battling evil, including dragons are slain, blood of dragon sets river on fire, many chase scenes with some pratfalls, swordfights, hand-to-hand combat, a few people are killed, man runs through deadly maze, snake-like creature comes out of man’s ears three times, & many fireball explosions; no sex but some heavy flirting, kissing & some women in bar probably are prostitutes; alcohol use & roudy bar scene; smoking of hashish implied; and, protagonist is a thief, an major character type in the Dungeons & Dragons® (D&D) world, but he fights for good eventually, although stealing is never really rebuked in the D&D world.
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS is a movie version of the popular fantasy role-playing game. The game has been a heady mix of adventure, dreadful monsters and complex magic lore that has fired the imaginations of players all over the world for 25 years. In the game, players get together with several other people, who play different kinds of characters, such as magicians and sorcerers (or “mages”), thieves, fighters, and healers. These characters, who can be a human, an elf, a dwarf, a giant, or some other non-human creature, usually go hunting for treasure and also to gain experience and power.
Like the game itself, the movie does not really accommodate a Christian worldview. In fact, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS the movie has a decidedly pagan worldview. The story is set in a fantasy land where dragons are the source of magic and where everything is held in “balance” by the power of magic. In this world, the humans and other creatures, except for the elves, use magic. The elves, however, are actually part of magic, as one character explains.
The sorcerers or mages are the ruling authority in the kingdom of this world. Anyone who doesn’t use magic is considered a commoner, a second-class citizen, even if they are wealthy. The young Empress Savina, 17, has other ideas, however. She thinks all people should be equal, whether they use magic or not. This upsets the evil Lord Profion, a mage of great power who wants to take the throne by force. He agitates the council of magicians against Savina’s ideas; they demand that she give up the golden scepter that controls all golden dragons. She refuses, of course.
Into this power struggle steps two thieves, Ridley and Snails, played respectively by Justin Whalin (Jimmy Olsen of TV’s LOIS AND CLARK – THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN) and Marlon Wayans of TV’s THE WAYON BROS. sitcom. In short order, Ridley and Snails find themselves helping a beautiful apprentice magician, Marina, find the red scepter that controls red dragons. If Profion gets the gold scepter, Marina hopes they can use the red scepter to make the red dragons battle the gold dragons controlled by Profion using the other scepter. Hot on their heels, however, is Profion’s evil henchman, Damodar.
As noted above, the worldview of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS is pagan. It also includes plenty of action violence, including some scary moments that parents may not want their children to see.
God is not the source of the power of magic in this world; dragons, elves and nature are. Furthermore, the heroes’ notions of the need for equality is a politically-correct, multicultural one. The problem with such an idea is that it fosters moral and cultural relativism. Furthermore, God’s word is quite explicit on this:
“There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”
– Deuteronomy 18:10-11 (KJV)
There are some moral elements to the story, however. The villain, Lord Profion, is clearly using the council greedily to take absolute power. Also, the good guys endanger their lives to stop the villain, and Ridley learns he has a higher calling than thievery. Finally, there is some sacrificial redemption in the story, including a possible resurrection at the end. This last is really interesting, because, if anyone wants to know why a game like DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS became so popular, all they need to do is point to the popularity of Christian author J. R. R. Tolkein’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS. To a great extent, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS was created in the wake of Tolkein’s popularity. Thus, although pagan authors have transformed Tolkein’s concepts to serve anti-Christian ends, they still cannot let go entirely of the Christian, redemptive roots of Tolkein’s fantasy world.
The special effects in DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS are quite spectacular. The movie has also managed to find some wonderful medieval sets in Prague, where the movie was shot. The acting and characters are, however, very uneven. Jeremy Irons, for instance, plays the villain like an overly theatrical ham, a fact which does not bode well for first-time director Courtney Solomon’s career. All this just might make people want to wait for the movie version of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, which is scheduled to start coming out next Christmas.