IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

Logo courtesy Netflix.  No logos were harmed in the creation of this banner.

Currently, the prevailing definition of the word "gamer" is "someone who plays video games." However, the label has an older connotation. For years, gamers were people who populated the tables of college dorm basements, comic store back rooms and Mom's dining room, one of them hunched behind a screen describing unspeakable horrors while the others rolled dice, complained about rulings and flung Cheetos at each other. Thankfully, that hobby is alive and well in the world of testosterone-charged first-person shooters and time-destroying MMOGs. With love in its heart and tongue firmly in its cheek, The Gamers: Dorkness Rising shows us how these "real" gamers live and play.

Courtesy Dead Gentlemen

Produced by the Dead Gentlemen, Dorkness Rising is a follow-up to the original film called The Gamers. However, it's not necessarily a sequel. The story centers on Kevin Lodge, a man struggling to create a unique campaign world for Dungeons & Dragons and writing up its first module. His regular gaming group, however, is frustrating him at every turn due to their shameless power-gaming rules-mongering ways. To fill the ranks of their small group, one of the players - arrogant, by-the-book Cass - enlists his ex-girlfriend, Joanna. It turns out that Joanna, like Kevin, is more interested than the story than the rules. The perspective shifts between the players and their characters, and as the adventuring party embarks on their quest to retrieve the Mask of Death from an evil necromancer, the gamers themselves begin to grow in their understanding of both their characters and the reasons they play these games.

Courtesy Dead Gentlemen

At first blush, there's a lot of similarity between The Gamers and Dorkness Rising. It has gamers rolling dice, yelling at one another and making off-color jokes at each other's expense. If you've never sat down for a session of Dungeons & Dragons before, you'll get a pretty good idea of how they tend to proceed. There are plenty of jokes about both the nature of table-top role-playing games and the people that play them. Some of these might fly over the heads of a general audience, but anybody who's rolled dice to determine a hit against a goblin's armor class can tell you they're right on the money. Beyond the scenes and jokes themselves, the film's probably been responsible for an explosion of conversations that begin with someone saying "Dude, something just like that happened to me when..."

Courtesy Dead Gentlemen

The surprising thing about Dorkness Rising isn't the humor, however. This film has got a lot of heart. It parodies the lives of gamers and plays up the hilarity of some of their arguments out of love rather than spite. The story has a lot to say about the nature of friendship, the way people immerse themselves in their hobbies and the process of storytelling itself. Despite the ways in which certain characters behave, the film never resorts to mean-spirited or blatantly gross-out humor to get a laugh. That isn't to say that this comedy is high-brow, by any stretch - there's bawdy jokes aplenty. But the jokes never really exist for their own sake. Like action that has the audience riveted in a well-directed film, the comedy in this story grows organically from character interaction and growth.

The only real drawback to this film is that it's aimed at a very specific audience. A lot of the jokes, references and situations will be utterly lost on anybody who hasn't ever played a table-top role-playing game before. And beyond that, there isn't a whole lot to say about Dorkness Rising. Chances are, if you're at all connected to table-top gaming, you're aware of this film and you know if it's up your alley or not. While there's a lot to like about both of the films in The Gamers series, beyond their good-natured humor and the surprising quality of the storytelling in the second one there isn't a whole lot to say about them. They're funny and clever and aimed straight at table-topping dorks everywhere. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then by all means pick these up on your Netflix queue. But not everybody's going to enjoy the same kind of thing. That's just as true in the gaming world as it is when it comes to movies. I remember this one time I was playing a rogue in a Planescape campaign and...

Josh Loomis can't always make it to the local megaplex, and thus must turn to alternative forms of cinematic entertainment. There might not be overpriced soda pop & over-buttered popcorn, and it's unclear if this week's film came in the mail or was delivered via the dark & mysterious tubes of the Internet. Only one thing is certain... IT CAME FROM NETFLIX.

that's a very interesting review, i'm into tabletop gaming of all types so i'll have to give it a watch.

You played a Planescape campaign and what!? I'm curious dangit!

Praise your voice-over for your reviews, now I could experience the whole thing without having to stop playing Just Cause 2.

Well, I played Warhammer 40k for a while, so I suppose I might have some inkling towards this kind of stuff.

Still, good review. Not your best, but hey, we all have our bad days. Don't forget, you're still

image

This movie actually got me to start playing dnd
and tabletop role playing game in general

now I write my own campaign

funny, last year I got into Mutants and Masterminds, a superhero tabletop RPG. This might be worth a rental.

Great review!

There's something endearing from the indy quality this film has. What makes it good are the characters what makes it great is the story.

I've become a huge Dead Gentlemen's Productions fan because of this film.

You talk so damn fast at the end...

Do you speed it up?

OT: Another very good review!

Good review!
I saw this a while back, thought it was pretty funny.

Is the humour D&D-specific or just about tabletop roleplaying in general? Never played D&D, you see.

I've seen this before, yeah. Was pretty great.

Though I've wanted to get into tabletop DnD badly myself, just no opportunity where I live unfortunately. :/

Scobie:
Is the humour D&D-specific or just about tabletop roleplaying in general? Never played D&D, you see.

I'd say it's a bit of both. Some of the jokes reference D&D specifically but they do so in a way that's general enough for non-D&D fans to enjoy them. If that makes any sense.

I'm not into table top games and what not but my wife and I watched it and it had us rolling with laughter. Really funny movie if you're a dork like myself.

Another Gamers movie!

Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. The Gamers was so f'n funny, I had no idea there was another one.

Thank you Dead Gentlemen.

Thank you BlueInkAlchemist.

EDIT: Not nearly as great as the first one. Only a few really great lol moments (I am so going to resurrect a chicken on a spigot). This one takes itself almost too seriously. Good movie, but the original was f'n great.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked