In his homeland of Alagaesia, a farm boy happens upon a dragon's egg -- a discovery that leads him on a predestined journey where he realized he's the one person who can defend his home against an evil king.
Gabriele J. from NEWARK, CA Reviewed on 6/21/2009...
This is VERY bad - the talking dragon is just ridiculous. A kind of mix of Dune and Lord of the Rings.
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This could have been a masterpiece.
S. Ulrich | Lancaster, PA | 03/14/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Honestly, I wanted to cry as I sat there in the theater watching this movie. What a waste of ten bucks. If you have read the books, and excitedly waited out the release of the movie, you are undoubtably as disappointed as I am. The books had such scope, like a Lord of the Rings junior. There was no way to get everything important shoved into an hour and a half movie. Why not go ahead and make a 2 and a half hour epic? I'd have watched it!! Here is what you'll miss in the movie: -The relationship between Brom and Eragon is very underdeveloped, so much so that when Brom dies, you're like, whoopdeedoo. -Saphira ages from a tiny dragon into just about full grown in one ridiculous moment. -Eragon's journey with Murtagh is like, 5 seconds long. No Hadrac desert, no bonding. Again, you could care less about Murtagh in the movie. -The Dwarven kingdom was UNBELIEVABLY disappointing. If you read the book, you probably had quite a vision workded up in your head, with the Star Rose and all. The movie pretty much annihilates all that. And the dwarves themselves are stupid-looking. You can't slap some armor on a guy with a beard and call them a dwarf. -Arya is an ELF. Did they really go over on the budget that they couldn't even give her POINTED EARS??? -The battle between Eragon and the Shade is like nothing. I was so bored.
Over all, this movie takes a perfectly paced book and puts it into hyperdrive, taking all the wonder and fun right out of it. You'll sit down to watch this movie and all you'll be able to do is watch in horror as they slaughter it. It is a terrible shame. Had they had a larger CGI budget, blatantly copied some LOTR stuff, and had Mr. Paolini perhaps overseen the novel-to-script process, well, maybe he did, but they just shoved some more money at him and he said, "Whatever, I'm alright with you destroying my cool book. Go for it."
Now, if I were to choose one or two things from the movie that didn't totally and completely suck, I will say this: Saphira, for the amount of CGI that was spent on her, is perfect. She was totally real. The voice of Rachel Weisz is perfect as well. Eragon, Edward Speelers, he was great too. Too bad he had to over-act in order to compensate for the crappy, crappy dialogue and lack of character development.
If they happen to make a sequel, Lord help us. The second book is even more complex and wide-scoped than the first. It will not translate well based on it's predecessor. I say they scrap the first movie, and make it all over, with a bigger budget, and the fans of the book get all editing priveledges. Then we'd have our Eragon come to life, rather than this horrible, mess of a mutilated movie!! "
Crashes and burns
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 02/22/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Eragon" wants to be "Lord of the Rings." It really, really wants to be. In a pinch, it'll settle for "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" with a dash of Harry Potter.
But those hoping for a spectacular PG-rated epic shouldn't hold their breaths, because the adaptation of Christopher Paolini's bestseller is a massive bellyflop. The direction is stilted and plodding, the acting is on par with tree stumps, and the whole thing is uninspired -- it never moves beyond "quick cash-in."
A young woman is being chased through the woods by a band of evil soldiers, trying to recapture a bright blue stone she stole from evil King Galbatorix (John Malkovich), but she magics it away. It's found in the woods by a young farm boy, Eragon (Edward Speleers), who unsuccessfully tries to trade it for food. But the stone turns out to be a dragon's egg.
When his home and uncle are destroyed, Eragon escapes with his now-grown dragon Saphira (Rachael Weisz) and a mysterious stranger named Brom (Jeremy Irons), who knows a lot about the Dragon Riders. Now Eragon and Saphira may be the only hope for the land, not to mention the captive elf princess he's dreaming about, and whom he has to rescue from the evil king.
Dragons, damsels in distress, magic spells, an evil king and his evil wizard, and a Young Hero in the Luke Skywalker mold... well, "Eragon" had a lot of obstacles in front of it from the start. It sounds like the love child of "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings"... except it's infinitely more clumsy than either of those movies.
And the director doesn't help -- Stefan Fangmeier is horribly crude and clumsy in his directing, with a style that manages to be both stilted and choppy. The scripting is even worse. Expect the most pompous, cliched fantasyspeak imaginable ("It is your fate to be a Dragon Rider. The Varden need a Rider if they are to defeat Durza and the king." "I didn't ask for any of this!" "But you were chosen, nevertheless!").
It's not surprising, since Fangmeier has never even directed a short film before. His only prior movie work has been for visual effects, which might explain why the CGI for Saphira the dragon is so beautifully detailed and fluid. Wonderful work there. But not enough to make you forget the rest of the movie.
Speleers looks like a deer in the headlights, while Sienna Guillory has all the elegance and magic of hobbit feet, and Malkovich is given the most 2-D villain role of the 21st century. The supporting actors give the only solid performances, miscast as they are -- Weisz gives a wonderfully nuanced performance, while Irons is solid as the mentor figure.
"Eragon" has the occasional good performance or moment of excellence -- usually from Weisz as Saphira. But the rest of the time, it's an amateurish example of how NOT to make a fantasy movie."
Star Wars meets Dragonheart
G. M. Handlon | Colorado Springs | 12/27/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am the only member of my family who didn't read the books. That said, we all saw Eragon the movie together. It was noted beforehand that I alone had no expectations. The rest of this review is a spoiler, so proceed at your own risk.
I'm sorry to report that none of us enjoyed the movie. It was all about the animation. The story was recycled. The dialogue was inane. They repeated one line at least three times, and I'm told it was never in the books..."One part brave, three parts fool."
This project had the depth and imagination of Ralph Bakshi's "Lord of the Rings", meaning not much. My family (the Eragon fans) were intensely disappointed, outraged and offended. They said it was like taking a novel and condensing it to a four-frame comic strip. I wonder what the author, Christopher Paolini thought? There is mention of elves and dwarves, but you never see them...or so I thought. I was told afterward that the female lead character, Arya, was an elf. The movie never revealed that. At the end, I thought she was Minnehaha the Indian princess.
Personally, I did not hate Eragon as much as the others in my family, but I would not recommend it. I thought that as presented, this movie was a bold-faced rip-off of Star Wars; the king is a dragon-rider who turned against his brethren to gain ultimate power...there is a secret encampment of rebels, waiting for a leader to appear...that leader has no idea he is the chosen, or why...the hero's adoptive family is slain in the search for him by the evil king...the hero's mentor is slain by the evil king's more evil minion. Sound familiar? On and on it goes, a regurgitation of the same old thing. Even the dragons are reminiscent of the worms in Dragonheart and Dragonslayer, nothing innovative.
The computer graphics are very good, but that's about all you'll get in this offering. Given that, even the best of the CGs will remind you of Lord Of The Rings, but not as good."
Star Wars! Erm, I mean...Eragon!
Kevin Ryan | Ithaca, NY USA | 01/06/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Have you ever wondered what Star Wars would be like as a Fantasy movie? Go see Eragon.
We've got Eragon (Luke Skywalker) who lives with his uncle (Uncle Owen). His friend Roran (Biggs) leaves to go on an adventure and Luke, I mean Eragon, is left all alone on the farm on Tatooine, I mean, random farm village. There's even a scene where he watches forlornly as the sun sets, though, unlike Tatooine, there's only one sun. Now Eragon finds a dragon egg and learns the way of the force, I mean magic, from Brom (Obi Wan) who happens to live in the same village. Together they set off and have to save the princess (Leia) from being killed by the evil King's (Palpatine) right hand man, Darth Va - I mean Durza. Now they have to find the Rebel Base and protect it from the Death Star before it's too late! Well, they do go to the Rebel Base but instead of the Death Star we have the forces of Mordor attacking. Good thing Luke and Leia are there to save the day!
Besides the severely unoriginal storyline serving huge helpings of both Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, the movie is just awful. There is no sense of distance or time - characters seem to travel across the continent in a matter of minutes or hours. We have no idea how many days pass (if any) and from the looks of things the entire evil army is able to march to the rebel stronghold in a day - the same for Jeremy Irons and his remarkable ability to show up halfway across the world in a few hours. How could this movie have passed screening tests? The good Varden people have waited 1000 years for Eragon and his Dragon who can't seem to hold three people even though a horse can hold two? How about the fact that Eragon just happens to know new spells at convenient times with no prior knowledge? How about the fact that we don't care about the Varden because they are just people in shiny outfits to the viewers?
The only good thing about this movie is seamless visual effects when Eragon rides Saphira, and even that won't get me to purchase it on DVD.
Kevin's Review: D-"
You'll love it...if you loved the book
Haley | West of the Horizon | 12/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"But I didn't love the book. I LIKED it. Very big difference. Though this movie has perhaps two good actors in its cast (Brom and Murtagh, the others are gag-worthy. Especially Galbatorix -- his soon-to-be infamous line "I suffer without my stone!" still makes me laugh as I write this. Except it wasn't a comedic line) and Saphira has the cheesiest and most stilted lines on the planet, and though they cut immensely from the book (the book wasn't exactly the Masterpiece of the Year, but still, even if I hated a book I like the movie to stick to it. Odd preference, I know) it was still mildly enjoyable (maybe because of the aforementioned hilariously awful "stone" remark, and others.)
SOON-TO-BE INFAMOUS AWFUL LINES:
"I suffer without my stone!" (I've already gone into this.)
"I have skills!" (Is this Eragon or Napoleon Dynamite I hear?)
"Into the sky, to fight or die!" (The scriptwriter was probably quite proud of this little corny stupid rhyme that made an otherwise decent scene another laugh-fest for Haley.)
"ARE WE ONE NOW?" (I think that's how it went. I won't explain this one. It's not made any less hilarious by Saphira's cry of "We are one!")
So see it, rent it, buy it if it's in the bargain pile (it will be, this movie is not destined for greatness). I'll probably buy it, to watch when I'm having a bad day so I'll laugh reeeeeaaaally hard, and to enjoy the performances of two actors, who happened to be my favorite characters in the books. But two good actors out of such a huge cast...
It is kind of sad.
Rating: Average, but worthwhile because it's funny. Oh-so-funny."