I have of late been passing on superhero and fantasy movies. Little new has been done recently, and honestly, I have nothing to say. Critic fatigue.
But I had some time and had heard that this new D&D flick was better than the execrable 2000 game adaptation starring Jeremy Irons (not difficult), and had a fine cast headed up by Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege-Jean Page and Hugh Grant (clearly having fun as a mustache-twirling villain), so what the hell.
For the record, I am not and never have been a gamer, and I remember getting several irate letters from D&D gee…um…enthusiasts for criticizing their hobby/pastime/reason for existing. (Damn, there I go again!) Point is, you need know nothing about D&D to enjoy this.
So the monstrous task facing directors/writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein was to fashion a movie that would satisfy fans of the legendary swords-and-sorcery role-playing game while still making it accessible to human audiences (sorry). And they did it!
I’m not talking leaves on the posters or anything, but this is a solidly entertaining, relatable romp that confines its references to the source material to a few Easter eggs, characters and place names. The story is easy enough to follow, the special effects spectacularly done (big screen, please) and the core message of the value of found family universal.
It’s always good to see a difficult cinematic task done well. Recommendable? I had a much better time at the movies than I thought I would, and let’s leave it at that. (134 min)