Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ERAGON: More Flop Than Flight

ERAGON (fantasy adventure)
Cast: Jeremy Irons,Edward Speleers, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle and John Malkovich
Director: Stefen Fangmeier
Time: 105 mins
Rating: * * 1/2 (out of 4)
Speleers and Shapira the Dragon
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Don't let your hopes soar with the flying dragons and magical swordfights in this derivative fantasy flick. At best, “Eragon” has the tone and quality of a made-for-TV movie, and at its worst, it is just a shade better than “Dungeons and Dragons”.
“Eragon” is based on a book of the same name by Christopher Paolini. However, unlike last year's “Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe”, this one sorely lacks imagination and energy, and tries to copy ideas from “Star Wars” and even “Lord Of The Rings”. Couple these with inane dialogue and uninspired acting and we have another lame fantasy flick set to flop at the box-office.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? The story takes place in a land called Alagaësia which is ruled by the despotic King Galbatorix (John Malkovich). Galbatorix has crippled the order of the Dragon-Riders and for years, many believed that dragons were extinct.
Young farm boy Eragon (Edward Speleers) is an orphan who finds a dragon egg while hunting in the forest one night. The egg hatches and, according to the village story-teller Brom (Jeremy Irons), he has become the chosen Dragon-Rider whose destiny is to rescue the down-trodden tribes and communities from Galbatorix's rule.Eragon and his dragon, Shapira (voice of Rachel Weisz), must journey to Varden to rally the rebels.
However, he must first escape the king's minions, known as the Urgals, who have been sent to destroy him. Besides Brom, Eragon has an ally in Arya (Sienna Guillory), a beautiful witch who 'sent' him the dragon egg.

HIGHLIGHTS: The relationship between Eragon and Shapira reminds us of “Dragonheart” (1996) in which Sean Connery loaned his voice to Draco, the last dragon on Earth. The bond between Draco and dragon-slayer Bowen (played by Dennis Quaid) formed the most entertaining part of that movie. Not so here, though. The bond between boy and dragon is all businesslike, sans the fascination and humour that we had in “Dragonheart”. Also, director Fangmeier offers no subplot to vary the storyflow. No romantic interludes for the women in the audience.

LOWLIGHTS: It would not have mattered much if newcomer Speleers is miscast and lacks the requisite charm of the boy hero, but it is rather painful to see Jeremy Irons wrestling with inane lines and trying to carry the movie all by himself. Malkovich has a cameo and an idiotic line (“As long as I am King, disloyalty will be punishable by death”), while Carlyle hams it up unabashedly as the villain Durza. The charms of Guillory are also under-utilised and wasted here.

THE LOWDOWN: I am sure many of us have seen better fantasy films on Hallmark and HBO than this lame adaptation of Paolini's “Eragon”.


Post a Comment

<< Home