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"Eragon" Movie Review

About.com Rating 1.5 Star Rating

By

Ed Speleers and Saphira in "Eragon"

© 20th Century Fox

The Bottom Line

For all the originality on display in “Eragon” it might as well be called “Lord of the Dragon.” The story is a mishmash of elements from a handful of better fantasy films. Throw liberal bits of “Lord of the Rings,” some “Star Wars,” and a smattering of “Dragonheart” into a pot and you’ve got the basic set-up for “Eragon.” However unlike “LOTR” or even "Star Wars," this dragon pic is a passionless pit of corny dialogue and curiously one-dimensional characters.

With no character development and a story short on drama, this big budget fantasy flick might bore audience members over the age of 10 right out of their minds.

Pros

  • The CGI work on the dragon is first-rate
  • It only lasts 99 minutes

Cons

  • It doesn't seem possible but "Eragon" is beyond silly and even worse than "Dungeons and Dragons"
  • Ed Speleers might be a fine actor but you can't tell by watching "Eragon"
  • Four writers are taking credit for the script? Maybe they needed a half dozen more.

Description

  • Starring Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Robert Carlyle and Sienna Guillory
  • Rachel Weisz provides the voice of the dragon Saphira
  • "Eragon" marks Ed Speleers feature film debut
  • Visual effects supervisor Stefen Fangmeier makes his directorial debut with "Eragon"
  • Christopher Paolini wrote the novel while in his teens
  • Rated PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences and some frightening images
  • Theatrical release date: December 15, 2006

Guide Review - "Eragon" Movie Review

Based on Christopher Paolini’s novel, the film opens with Eragon (Ed Speleers) stumbling across a large blue stone while attempting to kill a deer. The stone turns out to be an egg out of which pops an adorable ahhh-inducing dragon with beautiful blue eyes.

Zooming right along, Pete’s…errr Eragon’s…dragon Saphira (Rachel Weisz) is full-grown in just a matter of hours and able to telepathically communicate with her new owner. Saphira and Brom (Jeremy Irons as an Obi Wan type of character) tell Eragon that it’s his destiny to ride the dragon and save the world. Eragon responds to this announcement with a blank stare. Oh wait, that’s what Eragon does while he’s telepathically communicating with Saphira (the CGI creation does a better job of displaying human emotions than the actual humans).

While we’re on the subject, the mind-melding scenes between the boy and his dragon are unintentionally hilarious. Under the guidance of a seasoned director, newcomer Speleers may have been able to pull it off. But pretty boy Speleers flounders through this film in a kind of wooden stupor. Co-star John Malkovich is only slightly less wooden than Speleers, delivering lines with so little enthusiasm you can imagine a ticker scrolling “I did it for the paycheck” across the bottom of the screen. The only actor who comes out of the film unscathed is Jeremy Irons. Irons apparently believed enough in the project to treat it with respect. Djimon Hounson, Robert Carlyle, Sienna Guillory, and Garrett Hedlund wander in and out of the film, doing their best with the little they’ve been given to work with.

Fantasy film fans may be willing to endure the 99 minutes of inane dialogue, bizarre costume changes, and silly setups but the cost will be high. Neck cramps and headaches could ensue from the violent head-shaking caused by this film version of Paolini’s novel.

GRADE: D

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