Sunday, December 24, 2006

movie review: Eragon

Official Site:

Eragon: A tale of a boy and his dragon, a dragon and her rider. It's just every boy's fantasy to have a pet dragon to ride with. Well, it might as well be, as Eragon is an adaptation from a best-selling written by a then 17-year-old Christopher Paolini.

Since The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, epic fantasy thriller has been the expectation norm for movie goers in month of December.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy dominated cinemas worldwide from 2001 to 2003; Alexander and Troy (Okay, they may not fit in the fantasy realm, but they had the epic battle sequence.) in 2004; Then came The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005.

This year, we have Eragon. For further synopsis on the story, click here to read, or here from

Eragon featured a couple of first-timers. The director, Stefen Fangmeier, is a first-time director. He was previously a special effect supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic, the team who were responsible for movie success like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men's Chest. Stefen Fangmeier himself had his hand in few mega productions prior to Eragon.

The other first timer is lead cast Edward Speleers. The English lad stars as the destined rider in the movie, Eragon. I'd say it's quite a choice, for his boyish blond look, and he does fit in as the farmer boy. However, he is too boyish to make his presence felt, or to lead the character all the way. The dragon, Saphira, is voiced by Rachel Weisz.

I have never read the novel before, so it would be quite unfair for me to conclude on the plot in anyhow. But, if considering it as standalone featured film, I think Eragon was just above average at best.

With all respect to the creator, it's always nice to roam into fantasy realm, especially those with fantasy jargons. The writer seemed to have paid homage to fantasy novel guru like J.R.R Tolkien, by introducing jargon of his own. However, in view that the novel was written when Christopher Paolini was 17, the story was really boyish.

At times, I can't help linking the movie to Narnia, as both movies featured teen stars as the lead casts. The setting was quite similar as well. Also, I sometimes recalled one of the older RPG games I played on my PC when I was much younger. (e.g. Heroes of Might and Magic, and Diablo)

Despite the director was once a special effect supervisor, the SFX is not quite a state-of-art material yet. The battle scene was no where near grand and epic. (Reminder: It's really unfair to always compare with what LOTR had achieved, but we still compare, don't we?)

I also find the movie somewhat lacks character development. It's quite shallow throughout the movie. I guess that you couldn't really fit that much in a run time of 1 hour and 48 minutes. I am also glad that the movie length was kept as it is. At times, the scenes are rather flat. It's not really that intriguing.

It's not much for me to write on, really. The movie wasn't really a lousy one, yet, it's not that good enough to be a classical. I thought it's more suitable for child or teen geek audience.

To sum things up, I'd like to quote few lines from a review done by Tjoet Niadhien, extracted from TheStar.

This film has primed itself for a sequel but the studio better pray that the kids who enjoy this will not outgrow dragons.

I wouldn't say Eragon is a must watch. I was wrong from my previous post on preview. But, I am sure this movie is much better than The Curse of Golden Flower. As of today, I have heard and read bout the negative reviews already. I shall check the movie out myself soon.

" End Note: Arya, played by Sienna Guillory, is too thin. She is supposed to be an elven princess. But I find her far from Arwen's (of LOTR) standard. "


luxferi said...

When I first saw Eragon's trailer my first thought was, "Eee... how come the lead actor is a boy? Come on lah... give some gorgeous hunk (psst... Orlando Bloom is good) the lead lah." *lol*

Nice review. I had great expectations for the movie but now that I'd read your review, it's better this way because I have lowered it and now it won't disappoint that much anymore.

allen said...

Ann Thanks. Hehe. Well, I guess Orlando Bloom is too old to play a 17 yrs old farm boy. Hehe..

I was quite disappointed cos I had higher expectation