Dull Dragons & Mute Mirrors

[Contains literal bee-stung lips and SPOILERS!!!]

Ellie Chidzey as ‘Lux’ in “Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God”I picked up a copy of Dungeons and Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005) t’other day, as part of my quest to watch more Fantasy flicks as inspiration for my own writing. Apparently the negative reaction that greeted its predecessor‘s hammy pantomime convinced the peeps behind this offering to err on the side of buttoned-down and boring. It also hews closer to the source material, in the sense that it often feels like the cast are working through a bog-standard campaign adventure, in the most perfunctory way possible… like watching a computer game play itself on “demo mode”. Oh, and to avoid the offensive racial stereotypes that plagued the first movie, the producers (and/or director) decided to hire an all-white cast this time around! GAH!!! In theory, my fave character should have been ‘Lux’, the kick-ass barbarian babe, played by Ellie Chidzey… but sadly Chidzey really couldn’t convey “bezerker blood-lust” with any kind of conviction. She just looked slightly miffed, when she should have been channelling the feral intensity that Hudson Leick brought to her portrayal of ‘Callisto’ in Xena (still the gold-standard for bat-crap-crazy villainesses). Sigh…

Lily Collins as ‘Snow White’ in “Mirror Mirror”Meanwhile, Mirror Mirror (2012) was on TV again, so I decided to give it another go. I reasoned that it was mostly Julia Roberts’s snarky voice-over that put me off the last time, and correctly predicted that this was simply an introductory/expository device, which would drop away once the story was up and running. Unfortunately, everyone else’s dialogue was equally annoying, and I once again found my brain cursing my ears… resulting in the rather joyous discovery that the film actually works a lot better with the sound off! That way you can still enjoy the awesome sets, ridiculous costumes, gorgeous actresses, cool FX, fun fight scenes and amusing sight gags, without any of the painfully unfunny spoken-word “jokes” spoiling everything! I was still able to follow the plot pretty well, and greatly appreciated how feisty and self-determined this version of Snow White was, learning how to fight for herself, saving two men from the witch’s enchantments, and even refusing to eat the poison apple she was offered in the final scene! Hurrah! I also thought Lily Collins looked exquisite throughout, and made for a perfect fairy-tale-princess-turned-pirate. If it weren’t for that damn dialogue, this could easily have been one of my fave Fantasy flicks of all time. Damn talkies! They won’t last, I tell ya!

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic book writer with an interest in feminism, philosophy, and affirmative action. He/him.
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