Dudes & Dragons full movie review - Despite the Strange Name, A Fairly Amusing Parody
An evil wizard, Lord Tensley (James Marsters), seeks the hand and heart of the beautiful princess, Lady Ennogard. When she refuses, he locks her away and releases a deadly dragon, which he controls, to terrorize the land.
He vows that, until she accepts his love, his dragon will destroy all who dare display any sign of love throughout the kingdom.
As I understand it, this movie began with crowd funding, which was successful, and under the name "Dragon Warriors" went around to various festivals and received generally positive feedback. When picked up by Momentum, it received a name change. Exactly why is unclear, but maybe it was a legal thing because of the RPG of the same name. I am not a fan of the new name, because it makes the movie sound of lower quality than it actually is. But maybe others disagree.
There are some cheesy special effects, but this actually may be appropriate for how silly the movie is. While at first I was doubtful, it surprised me with its charm and clever writing. In contrast to the effects, the costumes and makeup are really good. One of the main characters is an orc, and his makeup (or mask) is as good as any Hollywood film.
What the film amounts to is a very strange parody. Someone else compared it to a mix between "Lord of the Rings" and "Princess Bride". I disagree, but they may not be far off. The nods to "Rings" are clear, and there are more than a few "Star Wars" jokes. But they are actually clever, rather than hackneyed like on "Big Bang Theory". You can tell the writer really gets it. When the damsel in distress says, "Help me if you want to hold me, you're my only hope," I was in love with the movie. It was at that point I knew they were really having fun and even ready to poke fun at themselves for having that fun.
Interestingly, while everyone else is tongue-in-cheek, Marsters plays it straight in most scenes. This provides an excellent balance, and actually makes him an even more important character than just being "the bad guy". He is also the one who ends up grounding the humor. Compare him to Adam Johnson as Ramicus, who steals the show in every scene. I have not seen much of Johnson's work, but he has excellent deadpan comic timing and delivery.
Whether or not this movie will appeal to everyone, I do not know. But I feel the nerds of the world will get a chuckle. Again, when compared to "Big Bang Theory", you can tell the people involved in this movie really get the culture and are not trying to make fun of the fans or reduce it to stereotypes. There is a true intelligence at work here that has to be admired.