1.5/10 If you thought that “D&D” stood for “Dungeons & Dragons”, you’d surprisingly be wrong. No, in this latest failed adaptation of the popular tabletop role-playing fantasy game, “D&D” stands for “Dumb & Dumber”, which not only describes co-directors and 2/3 of the screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein but also every critic who gave this disgrace positive reviews. This is the front runner for the most overrated movie of 2023 as its 91% on Rotten Opinions is evidence of. I seriously don’t understand how people can’t see past how truly lazy and horrendous this garbage is. The biggest problem is the script which has more problems than a sorcerer has spells. I don’t think I have ever seen more lazy coincidences in a movie in recent memory. A winged creature is needed in the beginning of the movie for an escape? What a coincidence! He shows up right in time! Simon Aumar (Justice Smith) gets flung from a theater? What a coincidence! He happens to land in the exact spot where Holga Kilgore (Michelle Rodriguez) is riding her horse! The Helmet of Disjunction is needed for our heroes’ quest but no one knows where it is? What a coincidence! Holga’s people just so happened to have fought in a battle over it and know where to find it! A bridge gets destroyed offering our protagonists no way forward? What a coincidence! Holga just so happened to have grabbed a teleportation staff that will solve that very problem! Holga and Edgin Darvis (Chris Pine) are about to be executed on a random street? What a coincidence! There is a loose brick in the very spot where they have stopped that can be used as a weapon to get them out of this deadly ordeal! The main villain has a knife to an innocent girl’s neck? What a coincidence! There just so happens to be a random sack of potatoes that Holga can quickly grab one from AND throw it at the villain’s face, all without him noticing! Those are just the coincidences that I remember from my first (and last) viewing of this debacle. All of those coincidences and ex machinas are Lazy Screenwriting 101 and while the biggest problem in the movie, sadly not the only problem. Another problem with the script is how hard it tries to be funny and how hard it fails at doing so. Jokes include lines about Edgin’s lips being too big for his face…which they are not. Do you love repeated jokes about tea being too hot? Then you will love the three or four times that Forge Fitzwilliam (Hugh Grant) can’t stop commenting on how steaming hot his tea is! The “humor” falls flatter than Paramount’s hopes at turning this into a franchise with its overly bloated budget and (thankfully) disappointing box office performance. While the movie isn’t losing the studio “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” amounts of money, Paramount is still losing money on this turd. The movie also continues the now cliché and annoying Hollywood trend of emasculating male characters while propping up female characters as nearly flawless badasses. The men in this movie are either evil (Forge), clumsy fools (Simon) or can’t hold a candle to their female companions while constantly lying and thieving (Edgin). Yet Holga is able to kick ass and rescue Edgin without breaking a sweat. The screenwriters have openly bragged about writing their male characters as buffoons and it reminds me of beta behavior of male feminists putting on pussy hats and going to feminist rallies, pretending to be allies so they can get laid. Finally, half of the cast is incredibly annoying. Simon’s self deprecating humor isn’t funny because it is true; he really is useless until the very last second when the screenplay suddenly deems him competent. Grant is incredibly over the top as Forge and despite the explanation, I still didn’t believe that he would be able to assume power in the movie. Doric (Sophia Lillis) and Holga are Mary Sues and even though they play likeable characters, we never get any backstory on how they became the badasses that they are. Xenk Yendar (Regé-Jean Page) is also a Mary Sue, but an annoying one who even Edgin calls out for his horrible conversational skills. The evil Red Wizard of Thay Sofina (Daisy Head) gets no character development, resulting in a completely forgettable villain. We also get moments stolen from other, superior films. Remember in “The Avengers” when the Hulk goes beast mode on Loki and throws him around, bashing him into the floor repeatedly? We get the exact same thing at the end of the movie, which ends predictably, I might add. Edgin at one point has rope around his ankles, falls onto his back and gets dragged across the stone ground and even up some stairs but thank God that in addition to that and all of the other times he gets tossed around, the wooden lute on his back not only doesn’t break but never so much as gets a scratch. This wouldn’t be a movie with a dead wife if it didn’t have the obligatory flashback of looking at the wife underneath a bed sheet from the husband’s point of view, which has been done to death. If I want to see a movie about a father trying to make up for past mistakes and reconcile with his estranged daughter, I will watch “The Whale”, which somehow ended up being far funnier than this movie. At two hours and 15 minutes, the movie drags on for what feels like forever with slow pacing and me not caring about what was happening on screen. I could go on with even more flaws but you should be getting the point by now and I am not trying to drag this review on longer than the movie felt. While the Courtney Solomon directed 2000 movie “Dungeons & Dragons” was also horrendous, at least that movie was half an hour shorter and could be laughed at with how bad it was. There is no laughter to be had here in what is a movie that should be avoided like the two direct to DVD sequels back in 2005 and 2012.
#PudgeTheMagicDragon / #TheMovieDragonsAndOn / #TheMazeBummer / #BoredGameMovie / #BridgertonMinusTheBridge / #HarperImage

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