“From the ultimate curse comes the ultimate quest”
Directed by Gerry Lively
Starring Bruce Payne, Mark Dymond and Clemency Burton-Hill
When the late minion of the evil Profion recovers an item of appalling power and plots his revenge on the Kingdmo of Ismir, only a band of brave adventurers can stop him, by undertaking the ultimate quest to discover a hidden vault at least, oh, two days travel from the capital.
Lord Berek (Dymond) a disillusioned former fighter turned politician and his wife Melora (Burton-Hill), a mage trying to multiclass into Cleric, learn that the evil Damodar (Payne) is seeking to raise the ancient Dragon God Faluzure to lay waste to Ismir. To stop him, they assemble a party of adventurers to retrieve the orb, in the hopes that Melora and the Council of Mages will be able to force Faluzure back into his enchanted sleep.
What’s wrong with it?
Aside from a small role for veteran authority figure Roy Marsden, Bruce Payne is the acting powerhouse of this film, the remainder of the cast being low-level British TV actors. Burton-Hill is the remaining star power, having done Midsomer and celebrity Pointless.
Learning from criticism of the first movie, this one hues as closely as possible to the original game, with identifiable spells, magic items and even character classes (although how it is that no-one in this party is higher than level 7 I do not know; someone in that castle ought to be a level 10 fighter at least.*) The results are predictably clunky.
The effects are pretty woeful.
The characters are one note: The fighter doubts himself, the wizard is an elf, the barbarian is huge and angry (is that two notes?) and so on. I think they’re trying for romantic tension between the barbarian and the rogue, but it falls pretty flat.
The plan is… dumb as rocks, and yet works. Damodar is all ‘haha! I have you now’ and then ‘whoops, my arm’s come off; guess I’ll stand here like a lemon while you slowly escape and all.’
And as dragon gods go, Thrakazog is less than impressive.
What’s right with it?
It’s not The Book of Vile Darkness, and so at least contains no creepy sex.
How bad is it really?
It’s just so incomprehensibly dull that it’s hard to imagine how they got so many people to spend a weekend filming the bugger.
Best bit (if such there is)?
Having raised the Dragon God, Damodar immediately starts crawling. Once a minion, I guess.
What’s up with…?
- The Neutral clergy talking about faith as a weapons for good? Okay, that’s another nerd thing…
- The temple full of clerics just down the road from Ismir, where divine magic has been unknown for generations?
Production values – Cheap and cheerful, but at least cheerful. Most of the action takes place in bright daylight, even the downbeats, and the forest is beautiful. 14
Dialogue and performances – There are a lot of informed attributes in this film. In particular, the party take a fair old time explaining what they’re good at and how, since the alternative would be to show it. There aren’t even any really good bad lines. 15
Plot and execution – We must quest to the ends of the Earth! Well… just down the road. And hey, look; there’s all this shit in our castle that we never knew about! Nice one, knowledge-revering order of mages. 12
Randomness – I suspect that the plot was developed using a Monster Manual and a pin. 11
Waste of potential – It’s not worse than the original Dungeons & Dragons movie, it’s just a different kind of bad. 13
* I am such a nerd.