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Film / Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God

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Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (also known as Dungeons & Dragons: The Elemental Might) is a 2005 made-for-TV live-action movie set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. Unlike the Dungeons & Dragons (2000) film released in 2000, Wrath of the Dragon God is clearly based upon its source material — to the point at which it often seems as if its characters are simply explaining various aspects of the Player's Handbook to one another.

3000 years ago, Faluzure, the evil dragon god of decay and undeath, attacked the kingdom of Turan. The Turanian mages were able to repel Faluzure and imprison him.

100 years ago, the evil mage Damodar (Bruce Payne) — formerly The Dragon to Jeremy Irons' Big Bad in the previous Dungeons & Dragons movie — fought against the people of Ishmir and was cursed with a century of suffering as one of the undead. Now he has returned, and with the Black Orb of Falazur, seeks to resurrect the dragon god to take his revenge on Ishmir.

The people behind this produced a third film called Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness, which premiered on Syfy in November 2012.

Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Ormaline's dove familiar Ona gets killed by the lightning floor trap in Malek's vault, Nim can't help but laugh. Needless to say, everyone stares like he just cracked a dead baby joke, though Lux and Berek can be seen stifling their own laughter.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Berek cuts off Damodar's arm to get the orb out of his hand, and he barely reacts. There's not even any blood, so perhaps he doesn't feel pain too. It's restored later with magic. Ormaline also gets her arm torn off when it's caught while teleporting the party to safety, and this is shown more realistically as her bleeding profusely, needing immediate aid from healers.
  • Anti-Climax: Both times they fight him, our heroes have no trouble beating Damodar in physical combat, even though his previous appearance established him to be a competent warrior and mage. He must be a century out of training.
  • Anyone Can Die: The party's cleric dies in an encounter unrelated to the quest.
  • Avengers Assemble: When Berek is collecting party members, each gets a quick scene to show their stuff.
  • Bar Brawl: Lux's introduction is fitting for a barbarian.
  • Berserk Button: Don't talk about Lux's brother. Appropriately enough, they're both actually berserkers. Her brother was killed prior to the events of the film because he couldn't keep his rage in check.
  • The Berserker: Lux, true to D&D rules, is a berserker who can rage for battle advantages.
  • Big Bad: Faluzure, The Dragon God of Decay and Undeath, the ultimate villain here.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Nim keeps his dagger on a wrist-mounted spring mechanism for quick drawing.
  • Body Horror: Melora spends most of the movie rotting from the outside in after being cursed by Damodar. Eww.
  • Break the Haughty: If facial expressions are anything to go by, this happens to Lux in the Goblin town. At first, she is completely annoyed and unconvinced when Nim stops her from activating what he claims is a trap. When, he reveals that it actually was a trap, she's more or less floored.
  • Covers Always Lie: The dragon on the cover is not the titular dragon god, but an ice dragon the band meet at the halfway point. Also, the foreground shows multiple dragons attacking the city when Faluzure does this by himself in the actual movie.
  • Darkest Hour: Just before Melora uses her faith to defeat the dragon. Recap: Dorian's dead, Lux and Nim are incapacitated, Ormaline is incapacitated and has lost an arm, Melora's slowly turning into an evil undead creature from a curse, the king is dead, the captain of the guard is dead, the Head of the Council of Mages was killed and replaced long ago, and the rest of the city guard and remaining council mages are putting up a fruitless fight against the dragon god while he rains destruction upon the land.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: Nim stops Lux from impulsively grabbing the chest in the Goblin village, knowing that it's been trapped.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Damodar, Profion's right-hand man from the first movie, is the main villain of the sequel.
  • The Dragon: Damodar is working for Faluzure and pledges himself as the dragon god's thrall. note 
  • Dragon God: Faluzure is the dragon god of decay and undeath who was sealed away 3,000 years before the time of the film.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: The eponymous dragon god Faluzure is a creature of decay and undeath whom the evil mage Damodar intends to awaken.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The plan to defeat Damodar and retrieve the orb is by using a combination of magical scrying and teleportation to bypass his defences and surprise him. In the Dungeons and Dragons gaming community, this is known as "scry and die". Ironically enough, this is usually frowned upon.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The party does a classic style (if shortened for time) dungeon crawl to find their goal, complete with solving puzzles, narrowly avoiding death traps, secret switches, etc.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Averted. Damodar releases Faluzure, but he holds no illusions as to who's the superior in this new relationship, immediately pledging his loyalty and asking for him to destroy Izmir, then to rule over Izmir "As [Faluzure's] thrall." Faluzure, probably grateful at being freed from thousands of years of imprisonment, is perfectly fine with this arrangement and even pauses to set a tithe rate.
  • Facial Markings: Dorian has some bitchin' racing stripes on his face. Lux's facial tattoo is much more tasteful, by comparison.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Lux and Nim are much friendlier after overcoming a few dangers together.
  • Funny Background Event: The sailors sent to retrieve Ormaline whisper that she doesn't look very impressive as a wizard. She clearly overhears this, smiles to herself, and gestures subtly with her staff. In the background, her island disappears.note 
  • Geographic Flexibility: The capital city, merely a century after the first film, is completely different. Gone are the mile-tall towers of the mages, as if the city was razed and rebuilt using more conventional fantasy architecture.
  • Ghost Town: The goblin village at Kurtal is completely abandoned, leaving the heroes to have to search the place themselves.
  • Head Desk: When he finds out that they're heading for a goblin settlement, Nim does this on his horse's saddle.
  • High Fantasy: We have heroes coming together to go on a quest to defeat an evil dragon god. It would be Heroic Fantasy except that the Big Bad has to be defeated with the orb instead of through any kind of combat skills.
  • Hobbits: According to Word of God and All There in the Manual, Nim is a halfling even though he is only a little shorter than everyone else.
  • In Name Only: Izmir bears absolutely no resemblance to the one in the first movie, and Damodar might as well be a new character played by the same actor if he hadn't offhandedly mentioned the events of the first movie once. Otherwise there is no connection whatsoever to the first movie. On the other hand, it is much more of an adaptation of the game than the first one is.
  • Jerkass: Nim is rude, deceptive and sneaky.
  • I Owe You My Life: Lux and Nim's friendship picks up after Nim saves her from a spike trap she didn't notice.
  • Karma Houdini: The lich Klaxx, who flees when trouble begins brewing.
  • Kill and Replace: Klaxx has been impersonating Oberon ever since killing the person whose face they now wear.
  • Large Ham: Everyone has their moments, but Damodar is king of the ham heap, with Lux coming in at a close second.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Dorian is turned to ice and shatters, dying. Although he was supposed to have returned in the now-cancelled spinoff show.
  • Mr. Exposition: Damodar explains to his minions (for audience benefit) his Evil Plan.
  • Never My Fault: Once Damodar makes the conditions of his undead curse clear, he abruptly growls that he did not fail Profion; he simply died before Profion could lift the curse.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Unlike in the first movie, where Damodar was a skilled warrior and The Heavy, here he spends his time holed up in his citadel, using his magic on the Black Orb to wake Faluzure up.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Berek knows most of the party from previous adventures and requests their aid specifically.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Played for laughs with Ormaline's familiar, who she claims has been with her for many adventures and none of her adventuring team have ever seen before (dramatizing a common occurrence in the game where familiars are completely forgotten by their players). Poor Ona then gets immediately killed in the same scene.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Dorian dies soon after his introduction. It's required for the rest of the plot, since he had healing magic and powerful anti-undead abilities.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Lux's introductory scene fools the viewer into believing the barbarian they're talking about is another character - until she starts a Bar Brawl with him.
  • Screaming Warrior: In keeping with the source material, Lux, being a barbarian, uses a shout during the climax that's powerful enough to scare Damodar's horse into throwing him off.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here
    • Klaxx makes tracks as soon as he sees the tide turning against him.
    • Nim and Ormaline are forced to do this due to near fatal injuries
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Faluzure has been trapped for 3,000 years.
  • Shout-Out: To more than one classic Dungeons & Dragons module.
    • "... stormed the Ghost Tower of Inverness." Module C2, The Ghost Tower of Inverness.
    • "What did your brother see at the Barrier Peaks that drove him crazy?" Module S3, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, contains a great deal that could drive someone crazy.
  • Tele-Frag: Due to an unfortunate flaw built into the pool of sight, Malek died by teleporting himself directly into a wall. Later, Ormaline does the same thing, but only loses an arm in the process.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": Played with when Nim and Berek try to figure out the password to Malek's vault.
    Berek: Did Malek have a wife or children?
    Nim: *Gives Berek a "really?" glance*
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Nim's does a Head Desk after learning that Berek plans to take them to see a village of goblins.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Nim is officially stated to be Chaotic Good but comes across as Chaotic Neutral at best. His introductory scene has him nonchalantly tricking a couple of fellow thieves into triggering a trap that roasts them alive, after which Nim steals their stuff. Though, they did try to rip him off.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In Nim's introduction scene his partners announce they don't intend to pay his share while he's still clearing the traps. They inexplicably still trust him to do so. The result is him taking his pay (and then some) from their smoking corpses.
  • Truer to the Text: This one goes out of its way to be faithful to D&D lore, unlike the first movie, which was In Name Only.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The story is split between the heroes' quest and the events back home with Melora doing magic research and fighting a curse.
  • Unequal Rites: The ritual to bind Falazure requires a caster proficient in both Arcane and Divine magic, which at the beginning of the film effectively means nobody can cast it.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Lux, near the end, goes into a rage to hold off enemies. Subverted - she survives and pops up again to help Berek during the final battle.