Eragon

Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, John Malkovich
Director: Stefen Fangmeier

Fantasy movies are on a roll right now with the success of the HARRY POTTER, THE LORD OF THE RINGS and NARNIA movies. ERAGON is the latest slice of fantasy that comes from Twentieth Century Fox and is an adaptation of a successful book. Written by Christopher Paolini when the young writer was still in his teens, Paolini has developed this tale into a trilogy all about good versus evil with dragons thrown in for good measure. With the likes of WETA and ILM in charge of the movie’s special effects, will the movie going audience be ready for another quest and adventure?

On the run from the evil King Galbatorix (John Malkovich), Arya (Sienna Guillory) has taken a stone and is pursued by Galbatorix’s henchman Durza (Robert Carlyle) Cornered by Durza, Arya uses a magic spell to send the stone away. A young farm boy called Eragon (Ed Speleers) finds the stone and takes it back to the farm he lives on that is owned by his uncle.

Eragon goes to the local village to gain some information on the mysterious stone but finds Brom (Jeremy Irons) who recounts fantastical tales of dragons and the Varden rebels composed of elves and dwarfs who oppose King Galbatorix. When Eragon returns to the farm, he finds that the stone is not a stone but an egg out of which hatches a baby dragon. The King sensing that the egg has hatched sends the brutish Urgals to kill the dragon.

Within a short space of time the dragon called Saphira, grows to full size but its powers have not fully developed. Returning one day from a flying session with Saphira, Eragon finds his uncle murdered and Brom arrives in time to convince Eragon to leave immediately as his life is now in danger. As Eragon is not yet ready to take on the responsibility of being Saphira’s Dragon Rider, Brom trains him for the upcoming battle that Eragon must partake in as he is the rebellions last hope.

What begins as an interesting movie is later let down by a few things. First of all, there are parts of the movie where you could insert specific scenes from STAR WARS quite comfortably. These are so obvious that it becomes embarrassing. From STAR WARS, some of the lifted scenes include Luke Skywalker looking at the moons, training with Obi-Wan and others that will not be mentioned without giving away the plot but I am sure you can guess the rest. As for the CGI work, while the dragon looks impressive, some of the flying sequence effects do look a bit sloppy. While Carlyle and Malkovich enjoyably ham it up as bad guys, Irons seems to clearly enjoy his role as Eragon’s mentor but the movie relies too much on inexperienced Speleers’ shoulders. While the movie is in parts engaging, it is not as riveting and compelling as THE LORD OF THE RINGS but it does feel like a movie that will keep twelve year-olds happy.

3 out of 6 stars

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