Film review: Eragon (2006), directed by Stefen Fangmeier
Based on Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle series of books, is Eragon, the first book in the series, which has been turned into a film the fans are already demanding a re-make of …
Young Eragon (Ed Speleers) lives with his uncle Garrow (Alun Armstrong) and cousin Roran (Chris Egan) while the country in which they live is under the rule of the evil Galbatorix (John Malkovich), who despite the name didn’t escape from the Asterix comic books.
You see, once upon a time, there were such magnificent creatures as dragons in the land, and each dragon had a dragon rider. Galbatorix was one of them, until he decided to rule the world and kill all the dragons and all the dragon riders. To uphold his tyrannical rule, he has the sorceror Durza (Robert Carlyle), and he happens to need to bring back an egg that Arya (Sienna Guillory) decided to steal …
And the egg is of course found by Eragon and turns out to contain a dragon, who names herself Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz), and tells him he needs to save the world. Oh, if only the evil overlord and his henchmen wasn’t out to kill him …
Also starring Jeremy Irons as Obi-Brom Kenobi, Garrett Hedlund as Murtagh, and there’s even a cameo by singer Joss Stone as Angela the soothsayer.
I’ve not read Paolini’s books (yet), but the Squeeze assures me they’re good. I should hope so, because judging by this film … I just couldn’t get over how flat it felt, like something was definitely missing from it. Somehow, it just didn’t gel.
Some friends of ours likened the Inheritance Cycle to Star Wars and pointed out the similarities, and I can see why. There are many parallells. In fact, my guess is that Arya is Eragon’s sister, but as a sequel doesn’t seem to be in the works, I guess I’ll just have to Read And Find Out.
Carlyle got increasingly disturbing and ugly as the film progressed. Malkovich was predictably evil. Irons is always a treat, and his Secret Past was blatantly obvious from the very first words he uttered.
When Saphira hatched, because that big, blue rock was obviously a dragon egg, I completely melted. What an adorable little creature! All big-eyed and furry and cute and blue and stuff. Totally worth seeing just for that.
Effects-wise, it was pretty good, and the overall story was decent, it’s just a shame about the execution. Eragon the film is predictable, disjointed, strangely paced and just not right. It could have been a great fantasy film, but instead, it’s decidedly meh. Disappointing.
2 out of 5 spells.