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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 William Goss

"Dragon The Line"
2 stars

Man, has George Lucas really gotten carried away with his latest alterations to the 'Star Wars' trilogy.

The story remains the same: a blond orphan (now played by newcomer Edward Speleers) working on his uncle’s farm finds himself guided by a seasoned mentor (Jeremy Irons, no Alec Guinness) to rescue a damsel in distress (Sienna Guillory) and fulfill a magical destiny of leading an army of rebels to defeat a treacherous ruler (John Malkovich, from that one jewel thief movie).

It makes plenty of sense that Fox wants to stake their claim in the recently lucrative fantasy market, but why they would avoid capitalizing on the all-but-obvious collaboration of Lucas and Peter Jackson under the pseudonym of Stefen Fangmeier is beyond me. Perhaps the studio feared massive backlash to such a clunky adaptation of the first novel in then-teenage author Christopher Paolini’s trilogy and such an underwhelming result from a pair of heavyweight filmmakers. However absent from the credits they may be, the works of Lucas, Jackson, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Anne McCaffrey are rather apparent in their influence on this turgid tale. In all probability, Luc-- Fangmeier found himself inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy to recast A New Hope as a quasi-medieval fantasy, complete with legendary dragon riders substituting for the Jedi, warriors born of the earth in place of orcs, and a climactic battle in a fiery canyon fit for strafing with an X-Wing. The central teenage protagonist even bears a significant scar and demonstrates an advanced proficiency at magic, but J.K. Rowling must be far too busy counting her money to mind.

To top things off, there are plenty of gratuitous shots of horses trekking across mountains and countryside vistas and a generically bombastic score by composer Patrick Doyle that heavily implies all of the urgency and importance that the direction would ideally provide. However, screenwriter Peter Buchman has exactly one credit under his belt (Jurassic Park III, an honor split with two other writers) and first-time director Fangmeier boasts an impressive visual effects background, a suitable explanation for why scope and stakes go overlooked in favor of worthy computer-generated effects. Any traceable character development as our Aryan poster boy abruptly transforms from farmer to hero is immensely predictable, and every action sequence – too frantic for its PG rating, not quite violent enough for a PG-13, as was the case with last winter’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – feels beyond perfunctory.

Speleers is as bland as he is blond, Irons goes through the paces as the obligatory coach, Guillory resembles Claire Danes in body armor whenever conscious, and Malkovich briefly moans and groans until he can inevitably return as a greater threat in a later installment. Until then, Robert Carlyle hisses about in his stead as the requisite sub-villain and likely cousin to LOTR’s Grima Wormtongue, while Garrett Hedlund appears as the valiant Han Solo/Aragorn figure and Djimon Hounsou shows up in dreadlocks as the leader of the rebel forces, and pop star Joss Stone makes an inane cameo as a clairvoyant (why Avril Lavigne was then given the opportunity to provide an equally insipid tune over the end credits instead of Stone eludes me). All that leaves is Rachel Weisz, whose voice for Eragon’s dragon, Saphira, proves more maternal than powerful and just about too good for the movie period. It also doesn’t help that, despite being the first dragon to be born in years, those trusty good guys can manage to whip up a set of armor for the creature overnight, but such developments persist with the utmost convenience. Maybe the recurring phrase of “one part brave, three parts fool” is directed more as a mantra to the filmmakers than a recipe for a hero.

Whether intentional or not, there is simply far too much of 'Eragon' that audiences have seen before and next to nothing that they haven’t. Fans of the novel have already expressed disappointment in the modifications made, while easy-to-please genre fans and less than discerning tweens will be all too eager to absorb yet another nonsensical lexicon. Meanwhile, everyone else gets to indulge in the most meager of eye candy while trying to dodge every other fond memory of Tatooine and Mordor.

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originally posted: 12/17/06 14:18:51
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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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