Forgotten Films: Dragon Age: Redemption (2011)
This is the 97th in my series of Forgotten Obscure or Neglected Films
I am back. Last week I was traveling to the frozen land of the Chicago and just did not have the time/energy/inclination to get the column done. So, as a penalty I forfeited my payment for the column. And, since I do this for free, it seemed a fitting fine.
With that out of the way, let’s go to this week’s film. I got this DVD for Christmas from some friends who knew that I love watching redheaded women and Felicia Day in particular. I first noticed her work, as many did, with Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, Joss Whedon’s fabulous musical which featured Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris. That internet production won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Short Form a few years ago. Since then Day has popped up on other shows, most notably The Guild (which she wrote) and Eureka where she played wonderfully ditzy Dr. Holly Marten.
I am not what you classify as a gamer. I play a few board games and have been known to play Dominion and Settlers of Cataan when the local science fiction group has their monthly gaming night. But I do not own a gaming system other than my computer and a first generation Game Boy. Never made it past level 3 of Super Mario World or level one of anything else.
I bring this up because this film is based on the Dragon Age video game, most specifically Dragon Age: Origins. Felicia Day apparently really loves this game and decided to write a short film based on the game which would include her as the lead.
Day plays Tallis, an elf assassin who has been disgraced and demoted to cleaning slave. She is given one last chance to redeem herself by capturing the Mage Saarebas (Doug Jones who was absolutely brilliant in Pan’s Labyrinth and other films playing creatures of ugliness and evil). However, along the way Tallis encounters a Paladin named Cairn (Adam Rayner) who has also been tasked with the capturing Saarebas. Since they serve rival groups, there is going to be a conflict along the way. They agree to work together to make the capture since the Mage is powerful and then they will duel to see who gets to keep him.
They encounter an elf caravan which has been attacked by Saarebas and a young maiden Fina (Marissa Cuevas) and an artifact have been taken to be used in sorcerous rites. Her fiancé Josmael (Masam Holden) is the leader of the caravan and joins the party. The journey to an inn where Saarebas has left an ambush which they defeat with the aid of a mercenary named Nyree (Marcia Battise) who makes the searching party complete.
All the normal tropes are there – quests, lost loves, betrayals, magic, honor, redemption. And it is somewhat fun. I am not going to recommend it wholeheartedly because there are some issues. Every few minutes, there is a pause in the action while we get an information title card screen telling some pertinent fact that might not be known to non-players or other folk. The dialogue is a little stilted. The special effects are obviously hampered by budget constraints.
That said it was fun enough that I enjoyed the tale. It is short, right around an hour. It was apparently done as six TV episodes though I have no idea where they appeared. The extras on the DVD were interesting. The costuming was good, particularly on Saarebas and Tallis. So I give it a thumbs up, just not very high. If you can get it as a gift or rental, I would say “Go for it.”
The film is available from the usual sources at inexpensive rates. Next week I will be back with a regular full length film of some sort, still considering several options. But first, I will watch the Super Bowl.
Series organizer Todd Mason hosts more Tuesday Forgotten Film reviews at his own blog and posts a complete list of participating blogs.