Dungeons & Dragons

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

The evil wizard, Profion (Jeremy Irons), covets the power to control dragons. But only the magic scepter of Empress Savina (Thora Birch) has that power. So he schemes to gain the scepter politically through the Council of Mages. But an ancient scroll tells of a second scepter, the Rod of Cyril, which also controls dragons. Profion sends his henchman, Damodar (Bruce Payne), to take the scroll from the Library of Magic. But young magician-in-training, Marina (Zoe McLellan), saves the scroll. She enlists the help of two thieves, Ridley and his partner, Snails (Justin Whalin and Marlon Wayans), to find the scepter. Theyre soon joined by the dwarf Elwood (Lee Arenberg). But Damodar is on their trail. However, Norda (Kristen Wilson), the elfin tracker for the Empress finds them first. Thus begins the adventurous quest to find the secret dungeon hiding the Rod of Cyril. Fans of fantasy and medieval settings may enjoy this film version of the 25-year-old game, but also be disappointed its not interactive.

Fantasy creatures like elves and dwarves or elements like magic jewels and maps are not necessarily bad. Christian author C. S. Lewis used many fantasy elements in his Chronicles of Narnia to present Biblical allegories. But many current books, board and video games using fantasy elements seem to focus on occultic forces, including talking to dead spirits and wielding demonic powers to gain knowledge. To its credit, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS encourages teamwork and the Empress talks about equality in this caste-sensitive, medieval world. But occultic elements are also present. Damodar is cursed with a creature living inside him that sends snakelike pods out his ears in one scene, to suck knowledge from Marina. In another, Ridley speaks to the skeletal spirit of Cyril to learn about the scepter. The skills of a thief are highly valued and although Ridley talks about honor, other thieves demonstrate their greed. Some New Age-type philosophy sneaks in as an old elf says that magic is part of all living creatures and keeps the world in balance. And medieval adventures include some violent sword and knife fights, battling flame-throwing dragons and shocking magic spells. Another major concern is that the film will renew interest in the Dungeons and Dragons game which could lead to dabbling in other occultic exercises.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
New Line Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th flr., New York, NY 10106

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (7) times - Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (man in flames, door falls on dragon - blood flows, neck broken, shoves, punches, sword hits, stabs, bar brawl, hit by arrow, snake-like arms come from mans ears, knife stabbed in foot, arm broken, high falls, dragon impaled, Dragons spit flame, dragon eats man)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near Nudity - Few times (low cut dress)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (women dancing in bar, reference to being with women, man slaps womans rear, sensual kiss)

Drugs: Beer/wine drinking, ref to water pipe

Other: Thieves talents admired, magic spells and powers used, dragon inhabits mans body, equality of people stressed, ref. praying for another, comment about magic keeping all in balance

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and older

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