Hey everyone, Slick Dungeon here. I’m back to review another movie. This time I watched Lloyd the Conqueror which is the only complete, feature length movie I know of about LARPing. If you don’t know, that stands for Live Action Role Playing. It’s basically Dungeons & Dragons but everyone is dressed up and hits each other with fake swords and stuff. Just a quick word of warning there will be some spoilers below so if that’s important to you, watch the movie first.
This movie starts out with a group of three friends who miss out on their community college assignment because they ended up playing a few too many hours of a new video game. (Side note: I think we’ve all been there) The problem is, the class they messed up their assignment in has the most brutal grader of the whole school and if they don’t pass, well goodbye to college. It’s basically Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure but instead of going back in history, these guys have to LARP. Why must they LARP? The teacher offers them an, “infernal accord” where if they play in the local LARPing tournament and beat the teacher’s team they will get an A. The teacher has won this tournament so many years in a row there are no contenders anymore and he needs a team to thrash so he can keep his record intact.
So, right here you have probably read enough to know where this is going. The guys who are failing, led by Lloyd, are first defeated in this tournament but then come back to face off with their teacher/enemy in the end. Along the way they learn that LARPing isn’t just for total nerds and they end up having some fun as well.
The movie has a lot of good things going for it. For starters Brian Posehn and Harland Williams are in it and if you’re enough of a nerd or comedy fan, you should know why those names are good to have in a film like this. The LARPing doesn’t take itself too seriously but it does stay true to the spirit of role playing most of the time.
There are some bad things going for this though. The first one I feel obligated to point out is there is an inordinate number of homophobic jokes here and I don’t think we can excuse that as a product of its time considering it came out in 2011. The second issue here is that it does lean in so hard on the LARPing that it gets kind of annoying. I mean, role playing is fun and all and I’m down to dress up in costume but the movie makes it seem like anyone who does this more or less dedicates their life to it. Finally, and this is just a personal issue, there was a joke insulting Star Wars and I’m a big fan of that franchise so I had to dock it half a star right there.
Thankfully the movie is not overly long so if you’re curious about LARPing it’s worth a watch. If you’re a super nerd it’s definitely worth watching and you’ll probably get a few chuckles out of it. However, I hope there will come along a better movie for LARPing. Maybe something similar to what Stranger Things did for Dungeons & Dragons.