If Dragonslayer and Star Wars had a baby…
With the monumental success of the Harry Potter film series, the movie studios (God bless their cold black hearts) have tried for years to come up with the next big fantasy epic for the big screen, because as we all know, an inferior rip-off is the sincerest form of flattery.
One such epic was the 2006 swords and dragon flick Eragon, which like Harry Potter, is a fantasy adventure film based on a series of books. But while Harry Potter had an epic feel to it with its sweeping story, amazing visual effects, memorable ensemble cast and a jillion bucks in box office receipts, Eragon has a telepathic dragon, a bland hero who looked like one of the Hanson kids and a song by Avril Lavinge.
And by the way…Avril Lavinge was never a punk rocker.
She’s an Urban Outfitters cashier with too much eye makeup.
There, I said it.
In a faraway land, evil King John Malkovich (played coincidently by John Malkovich) rules his subjects with the stunning charisma you would expect from John Malkovich; a man so melancholy he probably listens to Morrissey to feel better.
If only the famed Dragonriders, the extinct dragon riding knights of old (who are kind of like the Jedi but not enough to force a lawsuit by George Lucas) would return and set things straight!
Meanwhile across town simple farmboy Luke Skywalker – oops, I mean Eragon is going about his daily farmboy life, wondering if his wavy blonde locks could get more beautiful, when he stumbles across a large blue rock while skipping through the woods.
The rock turns out to be an egg, a baby dragon comes out, and before you can say “best pet EVER,” Eragon and his new pal are having all kinds of fun on the farm.
Of course evil Darth Malkovich gets word that his prized dragon’s egg has been poached, so he dispatches his army of ogres to kill everyone who might bring joy to his kingdom.
On the run from the bad guys, Eragon hooks up with veteran British guy Jeremy Irons who is not I repeat NOT playing the Obi Wan Kenobi part! He just happens to be a retired Dragonrider who agrees to teach Eragon the ways of the Dragonriders to bring down his old arch nemesis who was once his friend before he became evil. It’s totally not Obi Wan!
Soon Eragon learns that he and his now fully-grown dragon are psychic friends, and can communicate with each other telepathically. Safira the dragon (voiced by Rachel Weisz) tells Eragon that the bond between them is forever, and if he should perish then she dies as well, which is something every guy wants to hear from a girl he’s just met.
Eragon and Safira meet up with a small band of rebel fighters waiting for a chance to take on the evil empire – you know what, I’m not going to bullshit you anymore, this movie is Star Wars set at a Rennaisance Fair – and the Dragonrider is reborn in a glorious battle that is just spectacular enough for the budget of this movie.
Of course they win the battle but not the war, and Evil King John Malkovich lives to brood quietly on his throne for another day, because this movie is based on the first book in the Eragon series and the producers hoped to get a multi part movie franchise off the ground. Which they didn’t.
It’s a shame because there was a lot of cool things that could have happened in future installments:
Like in the sequel Eragon and Safira learn that they’re actually brother and sister and that John Malkovich is their Dad! And then they do an Eragon prequel where we meet a young John Malkovich when he was a happy little Dragonrider before he turned to the dark side and Jar-Jar Binks plays a local blacksmith who helps young Jeremy Irons win the podraces…