This fun, fantastical story set on the flat planet of Discworld is like none other. The most unlikely of characters meet up in very unusual ways. We have a tourist from a land based on science and technology, Twoflower (Sean Astin), and a washed-up wizardry student, Rincewind (David Jason) from Ankh-Morpork’s Unseen University of Wizardry who has been cursed by a very evil and dangerous spellbook called the Octavo. Add in an overly-ambitious wizard, Trymon (Tim Curry) looking to kill his way to the top, and some other legendary characters borrowed from other stories and given a new sort of life on Discworld, and you have over three hours of great adventure put together in such a great way, you really don’t want the journey of Twoflower and Rincewind to end.
Insurance salesman, Twoflower, arrives in Ankh-Morpork looking like the typical tourist we might see on holiday in Florida or other warm destinations. He’s wearing the khaki shorts, Hawaiian shirt, bucket hat, knee socks and sandals, plus the dark rimmed glasses. His luggage is one huge trunk, but this trunk is magical and has the ability to move on its own. It is filled with gold when he needs it, and is not merely a mobile trunk, but one that will protect Twoflower from danger and will aim to be by his side at all times. Ankh-Morpork is a port town, and the rather unsavory types of thieves and decievers (like Allin Kempthorne’s character) hang around, looking to take advantage of newcomers. Rincewind has just been expelled from the Unseen University for lack of magical talent, after being a student there for forty years. Rincewind saves Twoflower from being robbed, and Twoflower hires Rincewind to be his guide. Twoflower wants to see everything Discworld can offer, from dark temples to dragon fortresses and beyond. He even carries a camera powered by an art imp, which paints the photographs for him. After making negotiations for payment, Rincewind takes the money and runs, but is stopped at the city gates by the Patrician’s guards. The Patrician (Jeremy Irons) is a man of the law, and will do anything to make sure it is upheld. He immediately knows that Rincewind has broken his oath to Twoflower, and he will be severely punished unless he makes good on his promise to be Twoflower’s guide.
After a disastrous rumble between the theives and assassin’s guild in the Broken Drum Inn, that results in the place being blown to smithereens, Twoflower and Rincewind get out of town quickly, but Twoflower wants to stick to his plan, so they go forth to see the sights, but run into all kinds of encounters than tends to steer them off course. Add to this the fact that Rincewind is cursed by the Octavo by holding onto the 8th spell in his head, and that Trymon and the other wizards are looking for him to bring all the pieces back together, it also brings on a chase to places Twoflower never knew existed. They are pushed, literally, to the edge of the world, where they attempt to escape their fate to be sacrificed by posing as astrozoologists.
It is when they are launched off the edge of Discworld that they make the discovery of what looks to be a red star heading right for Discworld. There are small spots orbiting around the star, but no one really can tell what they are. In their escape, they come back to ground, onto the plains of a nomadic tribe where they meet the legendary Cohen the Barbarian, now a washed-up, toothless old man, whose outlook on life has changed drastically. Add the reluctant rescue of a pretty maiden, Bethen (Laura Haddock), who was to be sacrificed on the solstice to the Moon Goddess, and was ready to die and enjoy her eternal days in the Goddess’ court, and a hysteria of the populace of Ankh-Morpork who sees the skies glowing red and believes the wizards are the cause of “It’s the End of the World As We Know It…”, and Twoflower ends up having the best vacation any insurance salesman could wish for and so much more. Rincewind might even find he has more magical ability than he ever knew, that is after the Octavo releases its curse and Trymon gets what is coming to him.
Take three hours out of you weekend this summer, and cool down with some smoothies and Terry Pratchett’s, The Color of Magic.
I give this film a Musing review of