Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness (2012)

Once again the films poster is really really good but completely false advertising, because the film isn't as good. The third film after the quite disastrous original with big hitters Irons and Payne and this time its a UK production. Does this mean its better? well it does mean we see British soap/drama actors in the film which does actually give some class to it.

The plot is totally nonsensical to me, there is a nice animated sequence at the start to give you the background but it lost me, I dunno maybe I should of paid attention. Basically there is a bad wizard type guy who wants to sink the world into darkness or something. The bad guys kidnap this good looking guys dad for his blood or something, so its up to the good looking guy to save his dad. He does this by joining a band of other bad guys covertly to get to the main bad guy? something like that.

Plot aside the film isn't actually too bad, acting of course is drab from most accept for the odd British actor. Anthony Howell plays a sorcerer type fellow and does give a sterling performance, he may look stupid but he plays it for real. The characters on the whole are quite good really, a small band of warriors in typical D&D fashion. We have a female warrior (very sexy), a sorcerer, the good looking warrior, a big musclebound warrior and a slimy untrustworthy warrior, a cliched bunch for sure.

Visually they do look a bit terrible and hokey, lots of obligatory spiked armour, the female warrior is scantily clad, each warrior has their own special skills and weapons and there is a strange obsession with tribal markings/tattoo's. The female character has lots of crappy looking tribal markings on her face which look like a child has scribbled on her with a felt tip. The big musclebound guy is merely covered in body paint like a cheap Star Trek alien. The untrustworthy warrior has more tattoo-like markings on his head (hes bald) which are equally poor looking.

So yes they all look a bit ridiculous but as a team they do work well. The added bonus with this film is I believe they have gone down the route of the actual D&D game this time. There is a sequence in a store where they buy items I'm sure are from the game, the plot also seems quite heavy with D&D lore...I think. The films title itself, although it sounds awful, is from D&D lore (sounds a bit Evil Dead-ish too).

Amazingly this film is actually far superior to the first two, yes its true! The story is cliched and the characters are stereotypical fantasy fluff (what do you expect), but it is a lot more faithful to the famous game and there are also some really nice CGI landscapes too. The actual CGI dragon and general magic/sorcery effects are a bit poor but the landscapes and skylines are impressive, look a bit 'LotR' in places. The undead child sequence is actually very good too, the effects on this zombie kid are excellent for such a small production, pretty creepy looking too, kudos.

So ignore the films poster as its not that exciting but believe me its not that bad either. If you want a true D&D adventure this is you're best bet in my opinion. Forget the other two, this is the film, which I still can't get my head around, who'd of though it!