Dragon makes new film fly

The fire-breathing dragon looks awfully good. ?And really, that’s the main reason many will come. 

Sure, the film has quite the buzz thanks to whiz kid novelist Christopher Paloni (he started writing the book on which this film is based before he could legally drive.  Think about that, Mom and Pop, the next time you consider ragging on your kid for daydreaming in class.).

But for most who will slap down their allowance to catch this one, an impressive, lava-drooling overgrown lizard trumps the storyline.  And how’s this for a party trick — the dragon here has ESP.

The (primarily recycled) plot sees newcomer Ed Speelers in the title role, a blonde farm boy who lives with his uncle, far from the evil powers (cough, cough, Skywalker, anyone? cough, cough) ruling their world. 

Eragon is sent telepathic instructions from his sister, Princess Le... whoa, make that Arya (Sienna Guillory), paralyzed by the sorcerer Darth Va…oops, I mean Darza (Robert Carlyle).

Mentored by a wise man, Obi Wan Ke…uh, no, make that Brom (Jeremy Irons), Eragon is destined to become the next valiant Dragon Rider, especially when he learns that the mysterious blue stone that Arya sent him (a nugget stolen from an evil king played by John Malkovich) is actually a dragon egg. 

Once it hatches, our hero not only has the last known dragon in existence — he can communicate with it telepathically.

While you’re probably thinking that the only thing missing from a concept like this is Harrison Ford and a big fuzzy wookie, the look of Eragon is more Lord Of The Rings than some galaxy far, far away.  Unfortunately, Paloni is no Tolkien, and first-time director Stefen Fangmeier (while it IS an awesome name) is no Peter Jackson.

The climactic battle scene, while not terribly astonishing, is certainly interesting though.  And for dialogue as dopey as what we hear in Eragon, Fangmeier at least has the good fortune to have a couple of capable players like Irons and Malkovich spitting the lines out. 

Coming from those two, this medieval babble doesn’t seem as ridiculous as it should.

The first edition of a rumored trilogy, things will likely get better for this series.  Eragon doesn’t make a bad first impression, just not a great one.

But man, that is one cool dragon. ?Out of a possible five stars, I’ll give Eragon a two and a half. 

The feature is currently playing at Pen-Mar Cinema Centre in Penticton.

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