“Eragon” is NOT a bad movie. It’s not a great movie either. It’s a good enough movie that leaves you thinking “If I hurry, I can get home in time for the Simpsons.”
Edward Speleers, Sienna Guillory, Garrett Hedlund, Djimon Hounsou, Jeremy Irons
Critic’s rendition of Pre-Production meeting at Fox 2000:
Suit #1: What kind of movie should we sink the bulk of our assets in this year?
Suit #2: I don’t know. These fantasy adventure movies based on popular novels seem hot right now.
Suit #1: Sounds good to me. Fantasy adventure it is. Wanna grab a smoothie?
“Eragon” is NOT a bad movie. It’s not a great movie either. It’s a good enough movie that leaves you thinking “If I hurry, I can get home in time for the Simpsons.” But let’s not forget that it was penned by the wildly imaginative Christopher Paolini who started writing the novel at the age of 15. If you loved Lord of the Rings and you don’t mind some awkward dialogue every now and then, you’ll like this a lot.
The Story: Eragon (Ed Speleers) finds a rock which is actually a dragon egg that finally hatches in his presence because he is the rider this dragon has been waiting for. The cute cuddly dragon, Saphira, (voiced by Rachel Weisz) struggles her way into dragon adolescence in about a week, then becomes a full fledged flying fighting fire-breathing machine in the course of a single short flight. From that point on she lives by the dragon code of ethics, pledging a life of service to her rider. The local town indolent and closeted dragon rider, Brom (Jeremy Irons) finds a new purpose in his life by mentoring young Eragon to save the kingdom from its cruel tyrant, Galbatorix (John Malkovich) and his dark-magic henchman Durza (Robert Carlyle). Sienna Guillory plays Ayra, the obligatory hottie.
The performances were surprisingly good from all the actors. Jeremy Irons clearly commands all attention while he is on screen. However, freshman Speleers dealt with a wide range of emotion with surprising natural ease. The rest of the cast was convincing enough in selling the perilous pixilated journey.
First time director, Stefen Fangmeier should be pleased with his work as well. He has created a visually stunning work that no doubt owes a lot to his digital visual effects background from ILM. It hardly seems fair though to lay a one hundred million dollar movie on the plate of one who is use to directing non-human animated sequences rather than eliciting pathos and ethos from real live actors. Except for Jeremy Irons’s scenes, there is a notable lack of human warmth and connection, and therefore audience investment in the story…even if the baby dragon is so gosh darn cute you just want to squeeze her.
“Eragon” is a lovely and forgettable diversion that will likely be remembered as another one of those dragon movies of the fantasy craze of the early 2000’s.
Extras include interviews with the actors, commentary by the director, and storyboard evolution.
Reviewer : Clare Bath