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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Movie Review:Eragon

Premise:A young farm boy turned dragon rider has magic to learn and an evil army to defeat.

Cast:Edward Speleers as Eragon, Jeremy Irons as Brom, Rachel Weisz as the voice of Saphira, Sienna Guillory as Arya, Robert Carlyle as Durza, Garrett Hedlund as Murtagh, Djimon Hounsou as Ajihad, Caroline Chikezie as Nasuada, John Malkovich as Galbatorix, Chris Egan as Roran, Joss Stone as Angela

Director:Stefen Fangmeier

MPAA Rating:PG for fantasy violence, intense battle sequences, and some frightening scenes

Genres:Fantasy, adventure

Notes:Based on the book by Christopher Paolini. Images taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes and belong to 20th Century Fox.

Pros:Good CGI. Creepy villain. A rather cute baby dragon.

Cons:Fans of the book will hate extensive changes. Poor dialogue. Uninspiring protagonist. Bad acting.

Imagine that you're hunting in the middle of the woods, just about to take the shot. Suddenly, this weird stone drops out of nowhere and scares off your prey. And it's not just a stone...

Before anyone asks, no, I have not read the book. However, I watched it with friends who have. They tell me this adaption is far from faithful. In fact, they left out so much, a sequel will probably be impossible to base off the books. So if you don't like it when movies make a lot of changes to the books they're adapted from, skip this one for sure.

I didn't find Eragon particularly interesting or likable. He's foolhardy, boastful, and short-tempered. And the acting on several characters is pretty bad. The performances on Brom (the weary mentor played by Jeremy Irons) and Durza (the creepy villain) are okay, though.

One thing I've heard praised about this movie is the computer effects. Saphira is pretty well animated, though I'm told she does not resemble her book counterpart. And she makes an adorable baby.

One viewer said to me you should see the movie before you read the book if you're going to see it at all. Well folks, I haven't read the book, and I'm telling you to skip it.

Yes, another 12/20/2016 update to the content warnings.

Sex:A woman's leg shows in a scene. A couple guy of guys get shown shirtless. That's it.

Violence:A woman is tackled and sent tumbling down an incline. A forest is set on fire. Eragon's unfortunate uncle gets killed. The barn is burned down with his corpse inside. Two young men "volunteer" for the army while their parents tearfully protest. A corrupt soldier briefly threatens Brom with a sword. Brom threatens right back with a dagger. Eragon playfully spars with his cousin and later practices with Brom. Villains rob a coach of some kind.
Magic, depending on the strength, can cause one to feel weak, black out, or die. Several characters use it as a weapon. A man shows a scar on his stomach he father caused. Saphira crashes after a flight and soon needs medical attention. Brom remembers his friend getting stabbed, then finding her killer and driving a sword through his heart. Someone is shot in the head with an arrow, but this doesn't kill him. Saphira grabs an enemy with her mouth and tosses him aside.
Battle sequences feature fire and swords. There's non-graphic torture. Archers shoot and kill people. Characters get stabbed through the heart. Saphira bites and gets bitten by another dragon.
The bad guy stabs one of his lackeys in the foot and kills another (apparently with his fingernail, though there's probably some kind of poison or magic going on here). He also using that same nail to stab and poison a prisoner. Two enemies turn to dust or something like that when they die.

Language:No profanity. A couple of insults like "st*pid boy" and "fool".

Spiritual:Most of the characters use magic of some kind. Using too strong a spell can cause drain the caster's energy. Part of Eragon's training is learning how to use it. He shares a telepathic bond with Saphira, uses telescopic version, and visits some kind of psychic. Saphira turns rocks into some kind of crystals with her breath. Durza teleports and creates a dragon out of dark magic.

So what did you think? Was it magical? Or should they be asking forgiveness?

© 2013 by M.R.R.

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