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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.71%
Worth A Look: 2.35%
Average: 18.82%
Pretty Bad44.71%
Total Crap: 29.41%

6 reviews, 49 user ratings

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by EricDSnider

"'Pete's Dragon' had more depth."
3 stars

If you took all the dragon-centered movies ever made, and counted the good ones on your fingers, I bet you'd still have enough fingers left over to flip off "Eragon" as you walked laughing from the theater.

I haven't read the book, but I know this about it: It was written by a home-schooled, fantasy-obsessed teenager named Christopher Paolini and published when he was 19. And yet somehow -- and this is stunning -- somehow the story turns out to be geeky, simple-minded and shamelessly derivative of "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars." Why, it's almost as if ... as if a home-schooled, fantasy-obsessed teenager wrote it!

The LOTR and SW rip-offs in the film are so obvious that a quick Googling shows them to have been mentioned by nearly everyone who has discussed the movie. The parallels are so plain that pointing them out isn't even a matter of opinion. It's like saying the movie is in color.

The story is set in the forested land of Alagaesia, where 17-year-old Eragon (Edward Speelers) discovers a big blue jelly bean that eventually hatches and produces a dragon. There used to be dragons all over the place here, in the old days, ridden by noble knight-warriors who used them to do good and spread peace. But then the evil Galbatorix (a campy John Malkovich) killed them all (kill a rider, his dragon dies too) and yoked the land under his oppressive rule.

So now Eragon has a dragon named Saphira whose thoughts he can hear in the voice of Rachel Weisz and who is loyal to him as her rider. Eragon finds the village crazy person, Brom (Jeremy Irons), who Obi-Wans him with training and backstory, and they set out to join the anti-Galbatorix resistance forces gathering in the mountains. But first Eragon wants to save Arya (Sienna Guillory), a woman with whom he has an unexplained psychic connection and who stole the dragon egg from the king in the first place, from the clutches of the king's villainous henchman Durza (Robert Carlyle).

The book represents the first part of a planned trilogy (part two has been published already), and it shows, sloppily, in the way the film is assembled, with characters and subplots introduced or hinted at and then ignored, presumably to be completed in the next installments. Eragon has a cousin in the first scenes who then disappears for the duration; Eragon was abandoned by his mother years ago, yet that issue is not resolved; a new character shows up late in the game to fight on Eragon's side, but his importance obviously won't be realized until later chapters.

A good movie would deploy these foreshadowy elements more subtly, or meld them in more seamlessly with the central action -- anything to keep them from sticking out like sore thumbs. This movie, adapted by Peter Buchman ("Jurassic Park III") and directed by special-effects technician Stefen Fangmeier, just throws everything in. The result is a head-scratcher of a flick that looks like it had scenes deleted.

I suspect earnest fantasy buffs will be more disappointed in it than the average person, who will only be mildly disappointed. The story has the form of "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars" (oh, and Harry Potter), but it lacks the depth and the universal themes of those sagas. Those stories are about fantastical things but have underlying complexities that are down-to-earth and relatable. "Eragon" has no such weight. It's a silly story about a teenager riding a dragon, and absolutely nothing more than that.

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originally posted: 12/18/06 11:49:54
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User Comments

10/07/13 dr.lao In a word, uninspired 2 stars
9/12/10 Robert Eragon the movie is Eragon the Book Extra Lite. The book has is suprisingly well done. 1 stars
7/02/10 Innocence_Wasted Eragon bored me period. I couldn't even finish the godforsaken excuse of a film. 1 stars
4/11/10 Josh Credibility goes to the visual effects only. Dialogue shows cheezy pre LOTR style. 2 stars
10/28/09 Blah Blahson I just read the (awesome) book and I realized what a piece of crap this was. 1 stars
8/05/09 jake worst movie adaption ever. amazing book got turned into a simplified kids movie 1 stars
11/16/08 Carmen Book was mediocre at best, film was just bad. 1 stars
11/03/08 Aure liked the dragon, but thats about it... 2 stars
10/26/08 Guy Story lacks the character and emotional depth/history of LOTR. 3 stars
12/08/07 Sam Eli Horrible acting and writing, astoundingly derivative and almost non-existent acting/effects 1 stars
10/11/07 Charles Luke Skywalker goes to Middle Earth, not an original thought in the mix. 2 stars
10/01/07 R Kercher Cool SFX, but not on par w/book. There's a dragon, a boy & elf, and bad guy, but what else? 2 stars
8/11/07 Neil I was irritated by the bad lead acting and a 'ran-out-of-money' ending. 2 stars
6/10/07 Danielle Ophelia Oh, honestly... 1 stars
6/09/07 Rando Godd effects , terrible acting and dialogue, all different accents. 2 stars
6/07/07 Matt Highly derivative, to say the least, but still reasonable entertainment 3 stars
6/05/07 Mark Radburn Fuck all, who say Eragon sucks. 5 stars
5/07/07 Tracey Chambers Its not a bad movie, its pretty to look at but not much else 3 stars
4/23/07 hydrian If you haven't read the book, don't see it. If you have, DEFINITELY don't see it. 1 stars
4/02/07 Jenna I oved it and Ed Speleers is so cute 4 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold A smart saying at each corner, and isn't not-worth-watching. I even debate a 4/5. 3 stars
3/20/07 man great fx but otherwise disappointing 2 stars
3/19/07 Quigley Rip-off of all the classics we love. Everything in this movie is heinous. 2006's 2nd worst 1 stars
3/05/07 --- WHY?Why was this movie made? AVOID. 1 stars
1/29/07 Molly thought the acting was ok sometimes, the rest was AWFUL. 1 stars
1/24/07 Jon I don't see how some of you people gave 3+ stars... The movie was terrible. 2 stars
1/13/07 Deadly Assassin "Lord of the Rings" for ADD sufferers. 3 stars
1/10/07 dupadoit rad 4 stars
1/09/07 ashley It was good IF you hadn't read the books but if you had it's a piece of crap! 2 stars
1/06/07 melissa The worst movie I have ever seen that has been made from a book. 1 stars
1/03/07 Max The movie was horrable just a cheap kockoff of starwars and LOTR, but the book was awsome. 1 stars
1/01/07 sarah very good, left out some parts and the leading role was very good also! 5 stars
12/31/06 Tim Shameless Massacre. It's like they shoved the book in a meat grinder. 1 stars
12/28/06 Nick Didn't follow the book at all, horrible acting, and hacked up cliche storyline.1/2 starrate 1 stars
12/27/06 Aaron Smith Not as good as Narnia, somewhat disappointing. 3 stars
12/26/06 Sammy Excellent! If you like fantasys this one's for you!! If you don't like fantasys- too bad!!! 5 stars
12/23/06 Catalina es muy buena,abran sus mentes,hay errores como en todas,pero no debe compararse con nada. 5 stars
12/22/06 Thomas Wynn Not the best 3 stars
12/21/06 Jon good story plot... bad acting. 2 stars
12/20/06 scotty lord of the rings lite 1 stars
12/20/06 Brooke The worst movie based on a book I've ever seen 1 stars
12/18/06 Eric Liked the book, wanted to like this...but couldn't. Rent LOTR instead, or buy the books. 2 stars
12/18/06 David Total waste of a great story. Put eragon name on it to make money 1 stars
12/18/06 Michael Silbergleid But if you haven't read the book, it's very enjoyable. 3 stars
12/18/06 Riki Definitely seen this movie before. And the boy cannot act! 2 stars
12/17/06 ToFarGone20 Total departure from the book...the author should be pissed! 3 stars
12/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon Not as bad as it could have been, but the leading man (boy) was gagoriffic. 3 stars
12/16/06 tony camonte this is a chep ass wanna be palgerising piece of crap! 1 stars
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  15-Dec-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 20-Mar-2007



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