Saturday, April 14, 2007


RUNTIME: 104 min.

The novel on which the movie is based was written by a teenager, a 19-year old Christopher Paolini. I haven’t read the book but it shows that this is written by one. And the movie script seems to have been made by 10-year olds. Unless you are absolutely alien to STAR WARS and the LORD OF THE RINGS, this work is so derivative; I am amazed how its makers didn’t face a plagiarism suit. Worse, every element is so bad, I can’t think of one good point in this movie. George Lucas must be a great man to forgive the men behind this awful piece, but I bet J.R.R. Tolkien must be turning in his grave.
Eragon (Edward Speleers) is a young farm boy who by chance happens to find a dragon egg (read Young Luke Skywalker happens to meet a droid). An evil emperor by the name Galbatorix (Sauron) rules the land of Alagaesia and is hell bent on catching the dragon (ring). He sends his dreadful assassins behind him to catch the dragon and kill the boy. But all they end up doing is burning the farmhouse and killing his uncle. Eragon meets an old man Brom (Jeremy Irons) who is the last of an order; the Dragon riders (read Obi-Wan-Kenobi and Jedi Knights). Together they go to the place of the rebels, the Vardens (read Rebel Alliance). In the process, they manage to save a princess named Arya (read Leia) with the help of Murtagh (read Han Solo) and in the end they square off in a climactic battle with the master sorcerer Durza (Robert Carlyle) and destroy him (Death Star). And yeah, there’s Djimon Hounsou in there somewhere as well. I can’t tell you where and how he fits in because I too was lost for the last half an hour in this maze of ridiculous editing.
No, none of the above is a coincidence, this is blatant plagiarism. I have heard that Paolini has ripped of an entire passage from one of David Eddings’ books. And that is not all, there seems to be the case where the second book in the series, Eldest is EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. In fact, you do a little bit of searching on the net and forums, everybody has the same opinion. Hell, it even isn’t opinion, it is a fact. It is like stating that this is a movie.
Forget about all the controversy, the movie is so bad you would do best to keep your children away from this torture, unless you want to punish them for not doing their homework. Take your 12-year old to this atrocious fare and he might never ever trust your recommendations. The screenplay is ridiculous at best. And the actors too key in their efforts to make the experience the worst possible. There are lines like “Take care of Saphira. Without her. You’ll find that life is hardly worth living.” Periods are thrown randomly. Near the end of the movie, when everything has been explained about the relation between a rider and his dragon, Eragon asks Saphira “Are you with me?” “Always” comes the reply”. Grand statement that. And there are at least a couple of times where Eragon says to the dragon “Take care.” Pat comes the reply “No, you take care.” What sentiments.
And yeah, while watching the movie you might scratch your head and wonder whether a couple of reels are missing. I wondered too, but watching the consistency, it is pretty apparent that some subplots are meant to be revealed in the sequel. No god, no. don’t ever give them the monetary resources to make one again. ERAGON can be best summed as scenes thrown here and there all made at a whopping budget of $110 million. Even Geoff Boycott’s mum could make a movie infinitely better than this one, oh forget Boycott’s mum, even my mother would be more than up to the task.
Don’t even get me started on the acting department. Jeremy Irons is one of my favorite actors and I thought DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS will be the one odd choice he will regret. I was wrong. I don’t even want to think what made him do this movie. Then there’s John Malkovich who overacts whenever he gets the chance. Here is absolutely unbearable, he isn’t scary and he isn’t funny either. He is bad, just very, very bad. I have never seen this Edward Speleers guy, the man playing the title character but I hope to never see him again. But with this performance, I’m sure there’ll be a change of guard for the worst teenage actor. Hayden Christensen (as Anakin Skywalker) will no longer hold the unenviable position. Speleers knows next to nothing about acting. Well Rachel Weisz barely manages a screen presence whenever she is on screen, but here she gets to be the voice of Saphira. Needless to say, hers is the best performance only because she isn’t on screen. Anyways she isn’t Sean Connery, and I bet actresses of her limited caliber can hardly do voice-overs. Since you had that much money, you could have had Nicole Kidman or Cate Blanchett, but alas they don’t do this bad movies.
This is Stefan Fangmeier first movie as a director. He is a special effects whiz with movies like TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and MASTER AND COMMANDER to his credit. Well I wouldn’t comment anything on him apart from saying that he should stick to special effects and you should not even venture near ERAGON. Not the worst movie ever but a serious contender. BATTLEFIELD EARTH, beware.

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