Eragon, directed by Stefen Fangmeier, and written by Peter Buchman, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, and Jesse Wigutow, based on the book by Christopher Paolini, is beautifully shot, with fair acting, with wonderful graphics. The scenery, the costumes and makeup are magnificent. All the admirable qualities can’t save this film from its unoriginal and tediously familiar script.
Brand new actor, Edward Speleers plays Eragon, an unsuspecting farm boy chosen by a dragon to be her rider. Eragon lives in a small village in a time when a mighty king abuses his power. Men are dragged from his village at a certain age and forced to join the army. Soldiers mercilessly torment the people in the village. The villagers aren’t even allowed to hunt in the area surrounding their village because it belongs to the king.
Eragon was left with his uncle and cousin when his mother abandoned him. Auspiciously, while out hunting one day, Eragon gets his very own dragon egg. The dragon likes Eragon so she decides to hatch and the dragon rider is born.
Jeremy Irons, plays Brom, the village wacko… Or is he? Brom realizes that Eragon has a dragon. He believes that Eragon and his dragon will turn the tides against King Galbatorix if he can join forces with the Varden, a group of freedom fighters. Brom knows if the king finds out about the dragon he’ll kill the dragon and Eragon. He whisks Eragon off, in hopes of protecting him from evil King Galbatorix. On the way you learn how much Brom and Eragon realize all they have in common. Acting as his mentor, Brom nurtures Eragon, teaches him to fight and how to be one with his dragon.
Dastardly King Galbatorix once was a dragon rider who protected the people. His thirst for power drove him to turn on the people and he killed the other dragon riders and took the power all for himself. When he realizes that a dragon is born, he turns his attention to killing the dragon and Eragon.
Edward Speleers acting is believable, sweet and often endearing. If he had premiered in any of the original plots this movie bases itself on, he might have become a household name. Hopefully his bad decision to start off with Eragon doesn’t banish him to bargain bin, straight-to-video flicks.
Iron’s acting suffers in this film from an unfortunate script. His words often feel contrived and his acting feels forced. I suspect that even the best actors would have a problem keeping their performances believable with a script as cliché as this one.
Fangmeier hired veteran actor John Malkovich as the maniacal King Galbatorix. Malkovich’s role amounts to nothing more than a bit part. Malkovich’s talents are wasted in this film. His face time wouldn’t even add up to ten minutes. It’s idiotic to have such a great talent and give him so little film time. Malkovich isn’t at his best here either, every mannerism was overblown and over acted.
Keira Knightley knock off, Sienna Guillory, plays brave and mystical princess Arya. Guillory’s acting is malevolent and unbelievable. She is supposed to be flowing, and natural. Instead her acting is herky-jerky and uninspiring. If this is the extent of her acting talent she should play a naked mute statue in the background of a Vin Diesel film.
Like everything else in this movie the costumes have an amazing attention to detail, and are disappointingly old hat. Arya’s costumes are obviously inspired by the elves in Lord of the Rings and from Native American stereotypes. All of the men’s costumes seem to come directly from Lord of the Rings. If imitation is the greatest form of flattery then LotR and Star Wars should be blushing.
Eragon was shot in Hungry but it looks like New Zealand. The scenery is stunning. Lush greenery, snowy peaked mountains, and lovely forests are a bewitching and picturesque background for Eragon. The terrain is the most interesting character in the movie and overshadows much of the acting in the film.
I waited with baited breath for the climax of this film. I was left to finish myself off because there was no cinematic orgasm. The film at the end of movie didn’t wrap anything up for the audience and leaves the sneaking suspicion that there will be a sequel.
If you have never seen Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter or Star Wars, Eragon would seem fresh and original. If you took out the beautiful scenery and put it in space, it would be Star Wars. If you kept the scenery and took out the dragon it would be Lord of the Rings. This movie would be great for taking your young teenagers and preteens. There is nothing challenging, nothing offensive, not much of anything. This movie is a perfect C.