Probably Bad Podcast 10: We Watch the Dungeons and Dragons Movie

Opening music

Pencil: Hello and welcome to the special tenth episode of the probably bad podcast, I’m mod pencil.
Paper: I’m paper. today we’ll be reviewing a probably bad film I think.
pencil: I’d describe it as a probably bad film.
Paper: It’s 5/10. the official Dungeons and Dragons movie starring such names as Jeremy Irons, Danny from Hocus Pocus and that’s about it.
Pencil: yeah most of the movie was Jeremy Irons yelling at people and other people sometimes doing stuff.
Paper: there were cameos from Tom Baker and was it Richard O Brien? The Rocky Horror guy.
Pencil: yeah.
Paper: if you don’t know who jeremy irons is, scar from the lion king.
Pencil; imagine scar from the lion king but he’s human and getting off on every line of dialogue.
Paper: jeremy irons gives this film 110%. he is full ham. He’;s not just ham he’s a full ploughman s.
pencil: his first scene is picking up a scepter and his response is to say “yes yes”.
Paper: I think he licks it at one point.
Pencil: it’s his first scene all he has to do is pick it up but he looks like he’s going to bang it.
Paper: the scepter which is basically.. this sceptre has all the powers of the empress’ sceptre and it can also control red dragons, but it also means that somehow if the empress can get this sceptre she can make everyone equal, which is quite terrifying. we’re all equal in death.
Pencil: the premise of the movie is there’s a city where mages rule over non-mages and opress them in some vague and unspecified manner.
Paper: it seems mages are like the nobles?
Pencil: yeah pretty much. The empress wants to reverse this and make everyone free, the mages are against trhis and want to stop her with dragons. Two thieves try to break into the mages tower which to be fair goes like a lot of D&D games go where they break in, get distracted by a guinea pig, randomly push a button on a thing they haven’t seen and summon a demon to attract the police., which i9s something I can very much see any of my groups doing.
Paper: replace the guinea pig with a mighty stream of orcish urine and we did do that.
Pencil: yeah our groups are great. But yes, then they find a minor mage and they have to team up because they’re being framed to stop a guy with blue lips getting the sceptre and starting a dragon war.
Paper: in terms of party composition it’s fairly accurate – you’ve got two players who couldn’t decide which was the rogue so they both are, the noble mage who doesn’t want to be there and the meathead tank.
Pencil: I like the dwarf in that he has no personality for the whole film.
Paper: he likes gold and beer and doesn’t like elves and that’s his whole thing.
Pencil: does he even have a name?
Paper: I’ll check.
Extended typing sounds.
Pencil: I hope you’re enjoying this hot name looking up action.
Paper: he does have a name, it’s elwood gutworthy.
Pencil: I can see why he didn’t use his name very much.
Paper: I don’t remember an instancfe of him being actually addressed by name at any point. This party though is one of my first issues with this film. it’s not a D&D party, it’s a protagonist and his helpers. I think his name was Ridley… and there’s his friend Snails who just dies and is hinted to maybe not be dead at the end, they were hinting at a sequel, but his name is Snails, played by Marlon Wayans of all people. His job is to be the fraidy cat comic relief sidekick.
Pencil: I liked snails but there was too much snails.
Paper; there was too much snails and then not enough snails. They split the party, get reunited somehow and then he did a noble sacrifice for some reason.
Pencil: I’m not quite sure why he does a noble sacrifice, for those who haven’t seen it he’s been captured by the villain’s main minion and the heroic sacrifice is he doesn’t tell where the scroll is, but the way he does it he takes the scroll out and throws it in front of him. it’s not a good sacrifice.

Pencil: Also in terms of D&D things they go to the thieves guild
Paper: run by Richard O’Brien.
Pencil: as they all are, and I can’t remember why they needed the magic stone, there’s a lot of things they need to collect.
Paper: to make the scroll work? I’m not sure there’s a lot of macguffins.
Pencil:And the thieves guild for some reason has an underground death trap where they keep all their stuff. I like the D&D thing of everyone keeps their stuff in a deathtrap.
Paper;’ you know what else Ricahrd O’Brien is famous for – Crystal Maze, so it could’ve been a crystal maze thing. Cause he went through the dfeath mnaze to get the crystal.
Pencil: I like the idea that Richard O’Brien lives in a dearh maze in every uniuverse.
Paper; the thieves guild has some great races that I’ve never seen in D&D. This whole film I wrote a list of the races we saw. Human, behodler, elf, dwarf, probable background orc, watermelon face, purple with three eyes and a human with blue lipstick who I’m pretty sure was meant to be human, but just looks like a human, and Jeremy Irons did something to his head, I don’t know.
Pencil:: he pot something in there that would kill him if he didn’t get the staff.
Paper; so it didn’t have anything to do with his species his species is just blue lips.
Pencil: I don’t know if his race is blue lips or he just wanted to look pretty that day.
Paper: I did ewnjoy the background watermelon face guy cauuse it was light green with dark green stripes it was very Star Trek – we want this guy to look different, we’ll paint him.
Pencil: this movie has too many threads, which is odd as there’s not much of a plot beyond here’s the next Macguffin you need to get.
Paper: yeah. That said I do feel it was very D&D accurate in that most of them were just going after these various objects risking their lives various times not because they wanted equality or wanting jeremy irons to not get the macguffin is they’re doing it for money.
Pencil: also I did like the main characters motivation was that he wanted to bang the wizard.
Paper: there was that as well the beautiful female mage noble who didn’t like him and then they kissed and I haven’t seen anything that unearned in a long time.
Pencil: it was the most blatant here’s the male main character and the female main character and they’ve got to bone.
Paper: it wasn’t even arguing turning to playful bickering like Galivant. it’s just they hate each other, now KISS.
Pencil: they don’t even hate each other they were just indifferent. I also like the moral of you can’t control dragons but also the empress is controlling dragons and she resolves the issue by having the dragons eat the main villain. It was revealed partyway through dragons are the source of magic and if you kill the dragons it removes the magic from the world which would makie the world die. Which is a more tanglible reason to stop the staff controling dragons thing
paper: I like to think most of the people we play with would say let’s destroy the staff so noone can have it but here’s like the empress who is in charge of the country says “I could make everyone equal but I need the dragon staff first”
pencil: I like the whole premise is the empress wants to do social change but for some reason the empresss is “if only there was sa way I the most powerful woman in the country could do something about this”
paper: before jeremy irons goes all scar the council is on her side and also she’s the empress but she can only create equality by gaining control of dragons which you shouldn’t do but also she wants to.
Pencil: I like the ending where the main hero gains control of the dragons and says I won’t do it I won’t be like you and then the empress walks in and controls the dragons to eat him [irons]
paper: the empress who again is played by the little sister from Hocus Pocus , not a lort lodler because it’s from 2000, so you’ve got this guy who is prbably early 20s who is all “morality I am a hero now” and a kid walks in and says “yoink”.
Pencil: it is very D&D, that happening.
Paper: yeah but outside the context of D&D it’s bad.
Pencil: other things about the film…. Jeremy Irons screaming every line he has.
Paper: he acts like he’s told if he does it wrong a family member will die.
Pencil; like he’s got a sniper pointed at him just off-screen.
Paper; which is kind of beautiflu and very fitting for a high fantasy villain but also it’s a lot.
Pencil: to be honest all the villains were.. I don’t know if good but all of the villains were memorable. Like Richard O’Brien he was doing the whole James Bond villain thing the entiire time he was playing…
Paper: the betrayal where he went “only idiots believe in honour among thieves” was kind of beautiful if kind of undermined by watermelon guy just behind him.
Pencil: and the villain with blue lips who might be another race.
Paper: he’s called something like Damodar I think but I’m unclear if he’s something else or a guy in blue lipstick but I think he’s supposed to be something else.
Pencil: he does the sinister whispering thing with every line he does, even if he’s giving orders to his soldiers which makes me wonder how they can hear him. On a less film analysis note I was stifling laughter every time they said “give me the rod” especially when Jeremy Irons was licking it.
Paper: they do use the full Jeremy Irons so early on, it’s just a loit.
Pencil: the plot of the movie was “will you give jeremy irons your rod so he can lick it”
paper: can we shout out Tom Baker for being beautifully Tom Baker? He was a miknor character but I remember his character was called Halvarth because I love Tom Baker.
Pencil: he was very Tom Baker.
Paper: that’s all I have to say about him. it’s worth watching just for the Tom Baker bit.
Pencil: as we mentioned the sidekick dies, Snails, which is a name, Snails dies, in the final scene the characters are in a graveyard and are mourning Snails and put a magic stone there.
Paper: they did make him a nice stone cairn.
Pencil: and the wind howls and leaves spin and the name disappears, and this Elf tracker, we didn’t mention her before as she doesn’t do much, says “your friend is waiting for you”. And firstly I love that it’s the D&D thing of “oh you’re dead you’ll be fine in the morning” but also I like the idea that the magic stone has the power to remove names and that’s it.
Paper: I’m trying to find somerhting that I’ve seen Cristen Wilson who plays the elf character in. she’s in one thing I’ve seen and that’s megapython vs gatoroid, which if you’re at all aware of the syfy channel wouldn’t be surprised to learn is a syfy original movie.
Pencil: that’s quite a CV, D&D movie and Megapython vs Gatorade.
Paper: Gatoroid, not the drink.
Pencil: I wouldn’t be surprised.
Paper: that is fair. She’s not a major character in it but she’s in it.
Pencil: she’s sort of a minor character who’;s just always around for the second half of the movie.
Paper: that’s pretty much what she does in MvG. I’m checking the plot summary now. she’s the protagonist’s friend who says “i’m fine” so not a majuor role.
Pencil: you’re a major role. Sorry, that was incoherent.
Paper: you might want to edit that bit out.
Pencil: yeah I am keeping track of what’s going on in my life. I did like the thing of “here’s the macguffin how are we going to fuck up getting this one”. I think they get sucked into a map at that point.
Paper: we know we have to get to this place because we have the map Ridley’s dad gave him. He has the magic words but doesn’t know they’re magic words so he puts his hands on it and says them and falls in like Dora the Explorer.
Pencil: I’m not clear whethetr they teeleported or what.
Paper: I think they teleported but nothing is really explained.
Pencil: there’s a lot of things that aren’t..
paper: I think some light comes out of a map and you are somewhere else is teleportation.
Pencil: so the maker of the staff is a zombie now and says anyone that misuses the staff will meet a terrible fate.
Paper: I don’t think it’s misuses it it’s rhat his hubris made him use it and now he’s cursed, then Ridley asks for it and he’s just like ok.
Pencil: it’s like no-one can take this staff it’s cursed and evil and he says can I have it, yeah sure. he’s the most apathetic guardian.
Paper: I think he’s my favourite side character. His entire thing is this may as well happen. Maybe if he gets rid of it he can finally die. it’s strongly implied he’s just been a skeleton trapped in spiderwebs for centuries.
Pencil: there’s the blue lips guy he gets a weird snake thing implanted in his head and nothing comes of that really.
Paper: I think he almost uses it to hurt someone but it stops.
Pencil: he does use it to mindread the mage. It gets removed and he’s fine. there’s a lot of magical stuff brought up and dropped. It does feel like a GM trying to worldbuild while you ignore it. I did like it but it wasn’t good.
Paper: I’m still on a 5/10. it wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad enough for me to come back round to liking it because I’m one of those people who watches syfy originals for fun.
Pencil: I’d recommend getting it, watching the scenes with Jeremy Irons in, and the Tom Baker scenes. It won’t make sense but it won’t make sense anyway.
Paper: and it’s the greatest piece of ham acting.
Pencil: there’s a scene where he’s trying to be subtle and win the council over but he still comes across as creepy and manipulative.
Paper: it is something like from a kid’s show, he’s doing the creepy voice but the words are nice so it’s okay.
Pencil: tbf it does end with we should kill the empress.
Paper: that’s how it ends but he doesn’t start with let’s kill a child.
Pencil: he does go from 0-100. it feels like a moral prank, do you agree to do what I want, yes, ok we’re killing a kid.
Paper: oh god it’s the moral maze. The moral dungeon.
Pencil: the real elaborate deathtrap filled dungeon is the moral dilemmas the party must face where the moral dilemma is do we kill kids which isn’t that hard. But otoh the kid does attack with dragons so it’s a little more complicated.
Paper: the real moral is whether it’s moral to kill someone with dragons to make the class system less based on ability is what I’m getting. Cause presumably there’s still going to be empress and things like that she’s not going to turn it into a socialist paradise we’re just going to be less mean to mages.
Pencil: that’s a point actually it’s going to be run by presumably it’s hereditary idk how old she is but she’s young so I assume she inherited the position.
Paper: I just want to look up how old she was in it… she was 18-19 in this. But I feel like she was supposed to be younger than that, the character.
Pencil: I thought she was being played as 15-16.
paper: the title suggests head of an empire as well, this is a colonial power.
Pencil: this is now a colonial power that doesn’t opress non mages so it’s fine.
Paper: it’s let’s make this less of a meritocracy cause in a fantasy world let’s face it mages are important.
Pencil: it’s a complicated issue but we could get dragons attack and let’s resolve it that way.
Paper: it’s like when a superhero says I don’t kill and throws someone off a skyscraper or kills the minions but not you because I’m a good guy.
Pencil: if a dragon kills you as a direct result of my actions I’m not responsible. Batman must have killed so many. it’s not relevant to the movie but… batman bad is the moral of the movie.
Paper: that seems like a good point to end the probably bad film review if you have a question for our normal episodes you can send it at or email
Pencil: we hope you enjoyed the slightly different episode this week.
Paper: don’t forget if you want bonus episodes, homebrew content and all that jazz or to watch D&D related films on the discord server you can head to or you can leave a review or rating or give us a follow on facebook or twitter. And remember to have a probably bad day.
Pencil: and remember to have a probably bad day…

I feel that went well.

Closing music

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