Eragon

39 ratings (37 Epinions reviews)
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A Solid Mixed Reaction

Dec 17, 2006 (Updated Mar 23, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Acting, Effects

Cons:Story is derivative and not fully fleshed out

The Bottom Line: There is certainly some promise in the film, but it also has many shortcomings.


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

The kingdom of Alagaesia used to be ruled by dragon riders. These warriors and their dragons brought peace and prosperity to the land for many years. But one of them, Galbatorix (John Malkovich), wanted all the power for himself. He betrayed and killed the others and became king of the land. As is always the case in these tales, he rules with an iron fist and is hated by all.

Eragon (Ed Speleers) is a young man in the kingdom. This seventeen year old is content to farm his uncle's land. One day, while out hunting, he finds a weird stone. He takes it home, and it hatches. He now has a baby dragon on his hands.

The dragon grows quickly, and Eragon learns that he is a dragon rider. He is a fulfillment of prophecy and the last hope of the resistance to defeat Galbatorix. He learns this from Brom (Jeremy Irons), a man from his village who tries to teach him a little about his new life while taking him to safety with the rebels. Will they survive the perilous journey?

When I walked out of the theater, I couldn't decide what I thought. Now, a day later, I still can't decide if I liked it or not.

First, what worked. The acting was great. All the actors did a believable job bring their characters to life. The scenery was fantastic, and the special effects were awesome. The dragon looked so real. I just love what can be done for films these days. There were several characters I wanted to know more about and some relationships I would like to see explored. Most of all, I'm seriously considering reading the books to see just what happens next.

Unfortunately, the actors and special effects teams were working with a very weak script. Part of that is the basic stories fault. Based on a book by the same name, the story feels like Star Wars with bits of other fantasy novels thrown in. Of course, most of these "original" stories borrowed heavily from what came before them, so it's not like that in and of itself is a crime. Frankly, that only bothered me slightly.

The bigger problem is the length. I feel like there is story missing from the movie. Eragon has no knowledge of magic at the beginning, yet he starts performing almost right away and does a decent job of it with hardly any training. A dragon rider's strength comes from the close bond he shares with his dragon, and it's obvious by the end of the movie that the two characters are very close. However, we see very little of them bonding. What I thought to be plot threads were introduced then lead nowhere. Maybe they are important in the sequel, but I was disappointed they didn't go further. I realize they were trying to keep the running time down since the movie is aimed at kids, but I think they could have found some other way to trim the time.

Speaking of kids, they may or may not like the movie. There is death, scary creatures, sorcery, and a rather intense battle at the end. Obviously, some kids will enjoy the movie more then others, and you'll have to judge for yourself based on your kids.

Any movie that makes me want to read the book can't be all bad. However, the script seriously weakens a story we've seen in other forms before.


Recommend this product? Yes


Viewing Format: DVD
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 9 - 12


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