|The cast of Eragon|
So, on we go!
Eragon is a film based on the popular book series of the same name. The series is well liked by it's fans and I am sure that a film was widely anticipated. With a cast like Jeremy Irons, Chris Egan, Rachel Weisz, and of course Robert Carlyle, it seems quite a bit of talent was put into it.
So where did they go wrong? Perhaps it was in the hiring of Peter Buchman, writer of Jurassic Park III. Really, guys? You got the writer who actually had to script the words 'the raptor broke his neck and moved on to his next target' (Yes, I'm paraphrasing, but that was a bullshit movie altogether!). And trust me that isn't the only problem.
So enough about the behind the scenes, what about the actual film??
We start on a narration about how dragon riders used to rule the land in peace before one of them became a power hungry dick and killed the rest. Now, this narration is my first problem. Yes, it is necessary for us to know about the land's past, but do we really need to hear from the narrator that a woman stole a stone and is running for her life? Do we need to hear that a boy is going out hunting? Isn't the rule of filming SHOW DON'T TELL???
Anyway, yes a young girl, Arya, played by Sienna Guillory, stole a stone from the king (How? We don't know? One would think the king would protect such a stone a bit more!) and is now running from the king's shade/sorcerer Durza (played by Robert Carlyle). He finds her and asks for the stone back, but she trasports it elsewhere. It seems Durza kills her for that.
The stone appears in front of our protagonist, Eragon, while he is hunting a deer. Suddenly said deer erupts into light and is pretty much transformed into the stone! That is some transportation spell! What if Eragon was talking to his girlfriend at the time? That would be the biggest cock block! "Yea, I was just about to totally bone my girlfriend.....but then she turned into a stone!"
|Run, girl, run!|
One night he overhears Brom (Jeremy Irons) talking about the days of the dragon riders and how one day they will return. Eragon wishes to hear more, but Brom, at first eager to piss off any of the king's men, is now scared to talk about it and sends Eragon off.
Eragon teaches his dragon to fly and she very quickly grows up from the size of a medium sized dog to a full dragon, big enough to carry Eragon. I'm not sure how or if this is explained in the book, but I found it ridiculous!
After this growth spurt the dragon can now speak to Eragon through a psychic link they have as she has chosen Eragon to be her rider. (At this moment I thought of another book I began reading a while back called The Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey) The dragon is voiced by Rachael Weisz and is named Saphira. Not to bum out any of the fans of the books, but that is quite the imaginative name for a BLUE dragon!
So, anyone with know how of dragons can feel the birth of the dragon and now Durza is after the boy with a small army of magical golems. They attack the town Eragon is in and he and Brom run away. With the help of Saphira they begin to travel to Varden (the home of the rebels who fight against the king). On the way we find that dragon riders are also users of magic, able to control the elements to which they know the elvish name to.
|Jeremy Irons, in another dragon movie, but now he's a good guy and not as entertaining!|
One night on the ride Eragon has a dream, sent by Durza that the girl of his dreams (no, really, he's been having dreams about her) Arya is being held at a castle. Eager to prove himself he rides Saphira to the castle to rescue the girl who turns out to be a princess of the revolution. He does rescue her, even survives a bout with Durza, but Brom is killed.
They make it to Varden (leading Durza's soldiers to it!) and make ready for battle.
They fight the king's army and Durza. Durza creates a smoke-like dragon to battle Saphira and Eragon. Saphira is wounded, but Eragon is able to pierce Durza in the heart, killing him. (He turns to ash like a Buffy vampire dusting!)
Eragon wakes up, says goodbye to his girlfriend as she returns to her kingdom and flies off. The end.
This film is clocked at little under an hour and 45 minutes but it feels like so much less than that. I know that can be a blessing with a bad film, but not in this case. The story seems so rushed and the events happen one after another, faster than they should.
|Isn't this a move in one of the Zelda games?|
Now the other characters are good. Saphira has her own personality and quirks. She is strong, cautious and will protect Eragon with her life. Rachael Weisz is the perfect voice for her even though towards the end she is mostly doing grunts and cries much like one of the characters in a Mortal Combat game. I would also have liked to see more of Arya as well. There are a lot of characters in this series that deserved more time in the film.
Half of this film is character development and the other half is a long drawn out battle with a predictable ending. I think this is the book that could have been divided to two or three movies like The Hobbit is now. The first could be more about Eragon's training, his acceptance of his new role as the savior of the land, and his gaining strength to be one with his dragon, getting ready for the fight.
How they did it here is rushed and forgettable.
So what about the reason I saw this film?
I have the ability to forget about an actors past and future works when I see them in something new (ex: I do not see John C. McGinley as Dr. Cox all the time), but I was able to see many similarities between Durza and Rumplestiltskin. They are both magic users with bad nails and long hair (though Durza's is longer and red while Rumple's is green-ish and a bit shorter).
There are two things I wish to talk about regarding Durza. The first is his makeup! For most of the film he looks pretty good. Red hair, a few markings on his face and claws dyed black, but when gearing up for the final battle he looks like a meth addict! He is pale and his teeth look like they are going to fall out of his head! I guess we could blame this on finally seeing him in full light, though. (Note: I did watch the film again and noticed that Durza's teeth are normal for most of the film)
|See that sword? NEVER USED!|
One other small thing I have with Durza is that he has a pretty bad ass sword that WE NEVER SEE HIM USE!! Yes, he sword fights a bit on his smoke cloud towards the end, but even then he summons a blade from thin air when there is a fine sword hanging at his side!! I found a character summary on him which states that he is skilled in sword fighting and that is something I wanted to see. Instead we get another dark wizard who uses little else but magic!
This is not to say that his performance is bad, but this just seems like an inbetween job that he needed for the paycheck. He spends the movies looking like crap and spouting seemingly unintelligible words, but he is just that good of an actor that he still gives it his all.
As a fashion designer I must mention the costumes in this movies, albeit briefly. The costumes look amazing and a lot of thought was put into them. The inspiration was defiantly dragon (a lot of metal scales used) and it looks great, keeping with tales of magic and knights while changing it a bit to be part of another world. One problem I have is this:
Check out this awesome costume:
Cool dress, right? Now Check this out:
That, ladies and gentleman (if you can't see it sorry for the crap pic) looks like a zipper to me! This costume was on it's way to a dress I wanted to make but this ruined the illusion for me that this was a film set in something similar to medieval times. You want to put a zipper in a dress to make it easier to put on? Fine, but hide it more or something. I have seen dresses in movies like this where I have asked "How do they get her in that?" because I do not see anything like a zipper or lacing in the back or sides. I'd rather be asking that question than see this! But that's just me!
Word of advice, skip the movie, read the book. I always say the book is better and in this case it is more true than most!
Oh! P.S, Making us believe one of the characters is dead when they aren't is ok once, maybe! NOT FIVE TIMES IN ONE MOVIE!!!