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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 brianorndorf

"One fire-breathing stinker"
1 stars

The dragons fly high in the new fantasy adaptation, “Eragon,” but everything else in this confused and muddled production sinks to the bottom. Some good special effects can’t cover the obvious directorial mangling from Stefen Fangmeier, who doesn’t have a single solitary clue about what to do with his actors.

On the “Dragons Rule!” scale of nerdom, “Eragon” is miles ahead of the irritating “Dragonheart,” matches cute for cute with “Pete’s Dragon,” but doesn’t drum up the same fire-breathing bliss as “Dragonslayer” or the loopy “Reign of Fire.”

At the tender age of 15, Christopher Paolini wrote the expansive fantasy book “Eragon,” cribbing liberally from the likes of “Dungeons & Dragons,” J.R.R. Tolkien, and George Lucas. The book was a massive success, inspiring sword and sorcery flavored, junior high folder cover art across the country. A film adaptation was unavoidable.

Whether or not “Eragon” the movie does justice to Paolini’s literary work, I haven’t the faintest clue. I can safely say that there wasn’t one solitary point during the entire film where I understood what was going on. I wouldn’t classify the film as a flat-out, spell-casting, Orc-stealing mess, but if you haven’t already been indoctrinated by the Church of Paolini, there’s no reason to watch this motion picture.

With characters and places like “The Shade,” “Ra’zac,” “Alagaesia,” “Forsworn,” and “The Spine,” you need to memorize the book to even begin to comprehend the 20-sided-die depth presented here. “Eragon” pinballs from scene to scene introducing all these new ideas and plot threads, never stopping to consider the greater audience out there that it’s leaving behind in a hurry. I can’t imagine the die-hard fans will be pleased either when they see the 600-page epic turned into a 100-minute flip book of a film. Even the blind could sense there are gobs of material missing from this iffy tale of a boy and his lady dragon problems.

But seriously, what were the producers thinking giving this monster-budgeted franchise starter to a first time director? Stefen Fangmeier might have an extensive background in special effects, but he has much to learn about staging such a mammoth movie. There is little doubt that the moments when dragon Saphira (voiced regally by Rachael Weisz) takes flight are the film’s CG highlight. Fangmeier sells the soar of the beast impressively. If only the same amount of attention was bestowed to the humans, who look stiff and confused about what’s expected of them in their green-screen environment and with the Paolini-pickled prose.

There are some accomplished actors here too that Fangmeier can’t do anything competent with. John Malkovich hams it up with cheese in his cameo role as an evil king, Robert Carlyle dons some peculiar makeup (he looks like the outbreak Monday after a condomless weekend in Vegas) as a wicked sorcerer, and Jeremy Irons puts in a valiant effort as “Sir Explainseverything,” aka Brom, the dejected knight who makes an absurd effort to elucidate every single detail to our hero, Eragon. The cast is rightfully at a loss on how to act amongst all the leaden exposition, imaginary lands, and creatures that pack the frame.

“Eragon” ultimately dissolves into banal “Lord of the Rings” action territory, but with less fan-baiting attention to detail; it’s mostly just a bunch of actors trying to look involved while attempting to act through their bad wigs and Studio 54 reject outfits. The ending of the film not only suggests a sequel, it all but promises one. After suffering through this film, I’ll take any hint of a continuation as a hostile threat.

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originally posted: 12/16/06 02:40:08
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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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