Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is ERAGON the CONAN of our times?

I saw the tattoos on your forearms, the dragon and the tiger. Who else but a Shaolin priest could walk out of a burning building like he was taking a stroll through Central Park?ERAGON is a fantasy adventure flick set in a vaguely Medieval European land populated with elves, dwarves, dragons and a teenage boy of humble origins on a valiant quest to save the world from a despotic ruler. Sound familiar?!

Anyone over the age of around twelve would be well advised to give it a wide berth. This is no LORD OF THE RINGS or STAR WARS - it is not a childrens' fantasy flick capable of reaching out beyond the target demographic. There are two reasons for this: first, both the story and the way in which whole sequences are scripted and photographed bite the ass of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars so badly I am amazed the author hasn't been bankrupted from lawsuits. The plundering is so blatant that it's almost endearing in its shameless cash-hungriness. The key point is that there is nothing here that you haven’t seen before.

The second reason to avoid ERAGON is that while the special effects are actually rather good, the acting is appalling. Jeremy Irons spends much of the first segment doing his Old Ben Kenobi routine with an accent lifted from Derek and Clive. John Malkovich hams it up in a low-rent costume as the evil king and Robert Carlyle plays his sub-Grima Wormtongue side-kick in spoooooky contact lenses and a bad wig. They have ensnared a young helpless princess who calls out in her dreams to Eragon - her only hope! The princess is played by an actress called Sienna Guillory who looks rather bland and bored and altogether too old for her love interest - our erstwhile hero. And the hero, meanwhile, is played by a young lad called Edward Speelers who seems like a low-rent version of the kid from STORMBREAKER. Why is that all young British actors have a dodgy blonde dye-job circa 1983 Wham?! To add insult to injury, we are presented with pop-singer, Joss Stone, in a bizarre cameo as a mystic with a Kentish accent and too much eye-liner and Djimon Hounsou reduced to playing a rebel leader with an accent from The OC.

It's all rather risible and I was about to condemn this flick as being piss-poor until I realised that it could well be the CONAN of our times - so camp, so ridiculous that it's a stalwart of the Friday night beerfest, not to mention the party I throw annually in honour of the Gubernator's birthday!

ERAGON is on release in Egypt, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Belarus, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Israel, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, India, Ireland, Latvia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, the US, Venezuala and Japan. It opens in Belgium, France and Switzerland in December 20th and in Italy on the 22nd. It opens in Brazil on December 29th and in Argentina on January 4th.


  1. Oh goodness. I was afraid this was going to be bad but your comparison to Conan has actually peaked my interest. Just a little.

  2. Let's not get carried away. ERAGON is still fundamentally pisspoor. But I can imagine it gaining a cult following.

  3. i loved it. i hope there is another. what isn't a rip-off anymore?

  4. Compared to the book this movie did suck, but if you got a good director like micheal bay or something this could be an amazing movie. But instead they went and made it into a movie you would bring your 8 year old kid to go see!! LAME!!

    1. since when is micheal bay a good director. Steven spieldberg could have done t well.