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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Eragon: A (somewhat biased) Review

A fantasy-based film based on a book with mystical creatures, characters with magic powers, and a bad-ass wizard that commands an army of gruesome solders. Sounds familiar?

Well you can be forgiven if it strikes you that the movie resembles the LOTR trilogy. There are, after all, many similarities between the storylines of these two movies (can't say the same for the books, since I've never read Eragon).

Based on the book by Christopher Paolini, Eragon tells the story of a teenager who finds a dragon egg and is compelled to fight against the evil king after knowing his fate of being a 'dragon rider'. It is actually the first book of the Inheritance Trilogy, with the second one already out in markets.

The elements presented in the story are very similar to LOTR (have I mentioned that?). The battle of good against evil, the role of a mentor to the young hero (Brom as to LOTR's Gandalf), underdog whopping the big baddie's ass so on so forth.

The moviemakers did a great job in bringing the dragon, Saphira to life. Honestly one of the best (and cranky) dragons I have seen since Dragonheart. The sets were also nice, the scenery breathtaking at times.

My gripe about this movie is it's lack of originality and grandeur. After all that exposure to Peter Jackson's magnificent effort on LOTR, Eragon seems to drawf in the field of CGI. There are no great battle scenes and we barely see the creatures commanded by the evil wizard. It felt like the producers were trying to rush through the storyline...barely giving the characters enough time to develop.

John Malkovich was just plain weird as the evil King Galbatorix.

"I suffer without my stone. Do not prolong my suffering."

I must mention though that I was quite exhausted when watching the movie. Heck, I even fell asleep during some of the boring parts.

An interesting note is that the book was written when the author was 15 years old. So go ahead and watch the movie if you're tired of LOTR and expect no more than a simple story. That said, I'd rather save my money and buy some Aragorn action figures instead.

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