Eragon is a book written by a 15 year-old boy. OK, that is romantic and gets my instant standing ovation. Hell what did I do when I was that age?? Ah yes I remember. Girls.
Let’s get past the title. I have three theories.
1) In the dictionary under Dragon he found Dragon Herb, which is Tarragon in English, and Estragon in German or French. =>Eragon?
2) Or he just slipped on his keyboard when typing Dragon.
3) Or he tried to transcribe the name “Aragorn” from his Lord of the Rings tape and got it a bit wrong.
So coming from D&D2, and with the expectations I had, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a well and careful produced, fat, somewhat straight and cheesy fantasy flik for teens. And it’s awesome! I had goose bumps despite myself about 4 times, that is magic.
Bright visuals, convincing effects, great sound, well-produced classic fantasy soundtrack… There really made an effort here. IMDB says 100 million budget, well spent!
Critical reception quite awful, again: If you expect a new and convincing twist on the genre, forget it. The book got the same mixed reception, it’s written by a boy for god’s sake. AND I don’t care if the movie totally rapes the book, too long didn’t read… YES I admit I usually HATE that, and if I had KNOWN the book beforehand I would certainly have hated the movie. Damn. 🙂
If you do not know the book and expect a totally stupid trash teen movie, you will be surprised. As a “cinematic piece of art” it is too shallow, too straight, but perfectly polished, no wonder with Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, but does that deserve 5 of 10 (IMDB)? Amazon 2 stars? Audience expectations, ah my pet subject…
Out of protest I give 4 of 5. And I regret almost nothing.
By the way, I have recently talked about Dungeons & Dragons 1. This one also stars Jeremy Irons, but suddenly unsucky. He is of course another generic character here, Obiwan-esque, but he felt real to me.
Music: Very well done by Patrick Doyle. Not “masterpiece” to me, but it would be with 2 or 3 killer themes, like e.g. “Prince Caspian”, “Dragonheart”, “Braveheart” etc. Still, a lot of feeling for what is needed for each situation, for a LIGHT family fantasy setting. I can learn A LOT from that (except the credits pop, brrrr).
Sound: Wow, everything is big and bright. The dragon sounds are absolut top. No wonder that this movie is #1 movie yet where dragons play a major role. Only exception: The battles. Thin, empty, flat. Almost no battle ambience. Possibly a design choice, only in CUT TO: moments do we hear awesome swordplay. Otherwise it sounds like you are searching for your fav fork in your kitchen drawer. Checking out the commentary later to see that.
16 Sound guys, including 1 for just the dragon’s voice.