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R: ARCHIVE, S: MOVIES, D: 12/14/2000,

Dungeons & Dragons

Take all the fun out of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons -- the use of one's imagination, the colorful many-sided dice, the hygienic habits of your fellow gamers -- and you've got this stinker. Whereas the film adaptation of the board game Clue had three possible endings, this one has an infinite number, depending on when you decide to slash up the screen with your sword. Will it be five minutes in, when Jeremy Irons, playing Christopher Lloyd, reveals his plan to obtain the Rod of Savrille so he can control the red dragons -- and thus the empire? How about moments later, when we meet our scrappy white male hero, Ridley (Justin Whalin), and his silly-dilly black pal, Snails (Marlon Wayans or Stepin Fetchit). And you thought racism existed only on this earth and in a galaxy far, far away! It's also worth mentioning that all the bald people in the movie are evil. The ironic message of Dungeons & Dragons is that all people are equal regardless of whether they can perform magic -- which means this film could never have been made when Claudia Schiffer was dating David Copperfield. Let's just hope director Courtney Solomon's next project isn't Checkers: The Movie.

-- Mark Bazer