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Eragon; a (brutal) review
Topic Started: Mar 27 2012, 04:12 AM (348 Views)
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Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride
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(Made by Harkoragon, inherited from Drunkduck)

Let me give you a brief run down of the plot to Eragon-

An ancient order of warriors with mystical powers used to protect order and justice, but they were betrayed by one of their own members. He killed off all the others and established an Evil Empire, which is now in control.
There is an organization of rebels opposed to the Empire, but they are clearly losing the war when the story starts out.
Then one day, a young farm boy, who lives with his uncle, meets up with one of the last remaining members of the mystical warriors (played by a well respected British actor), who teaches him the ancient mystical powers of his order.
But the young boy's home is burned by the Evil Empire and his uncle is killed, so he sets out on a mission to aid the rebels and defeat the Empire.
On the way he meets a beautiful princess and his old mentor is killed, but ultimately the...

Oh hang on, sorry, I was reading out the plot to Star Wars there, wasn't I?
Doh! Silly me!
Anyway, sorry about that, lets start over.

Okay, the plot to Eragon-
An ancient order of warriors with mystical powers used to protect order and justice, but they were betrayed by one of their own members. He killed off all the others and established an Evil Empire, which is...


It is the same!
I mean literally, it is exactly the same!
If George Lucas wasn't so busy destroying his own legacy I am sure he would have the lawyers on the phone.

Imagine if Luke Skywalker lived in a cheap knock off of Middle Earth instead of a Galaxy Far Far Away, had magic instead of the force and rode a dragon instead of an X-Wing.
And there you go. You just imagined Eragon.

Well that isn't strictly fair. The film rips off other movies too! Mainly the Lord of the Rings. We have evil black cloaked Nazgul monsters sent to track down the hero, cheap orc knock offs and a scene where an evil wizard gives a speech to a huge army that is so directly lifted from the Two Towers that you have to wonder if it is meant to be funny.

Eragon is based on a series of shitty books by a teenaged boy.
Now I know what you are thinking-
"Oooh Vast! You big bully! If he is a teenager, getting a book published at all is quite an achievement, cut him some slack!"
Yeah, you are right, that would be an achievement. And the aggressive way the books were marketed certainly were never shy about going on and on about this fact. This kid was even getting interviewed in Time magazine!
Of course, the detail they failed to mention is that this talentless youth's parents run a publishing company. Wow, really impressive! Getting his bullshit book published took this kid as much effort as it is going to take Paris Hilton to own a hotel chain!
I have to wonder if he called the books The Inheritance Cycle as a little thank you nod to mummy and daddy!
So yeah, some dumb kid watches Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, writes some shitty fan fiction and his parents decide that rather then sending him to his room and cancelling his pocket month for the next 16 years as punishment for such crap (as any right thinking parents would do) they published this rubbish and then some gob-shite made a God damn shitty movie out of it.

And boy did they make it shitty.

The world the characters live in is about as stock-fantasy as you can imagine. There is not one original idea to be seen.
There are no interesting cultures, no imaginative ideas, nothing.

Also rather hilarious is that the characters don't even seem to understand the world they live in. They constantly go on about how the "Age of the Dragon Riders will come again!" (they cant let a scene pass without saying it, it is like Peter Parker's Uncle Ben with A.D.D.) But the evil Emperor IS a Dragon Rider. He just killed all the other Dragon Riders and took over. So the age of the Dragon Riders is still going on. One of them is still in charge. Why is him ruling any less legitimate then the other Dragon Riders ruling? It is not like they ran a democracy. No one voted for these assholes. The only claim these guys have to power is that they have dragons and know magic. Why is having a large number of these assholes with God Complexes any better then having one? Well I guess because the bad guy is EVIL. The movie never really explains why, he just is. He has long finger nails so I guess that counts. The main bad thing his government seems to do is conscript people into the army. But he is only doing that to get soldiers to fight the rebels. So if the rebels would stop starting wars there would be no need for conscription and everyone would be happy.
Oh sorry, I was watching this as someone who has a brain.
Being able to think is a great barrier to enjoying this movie.
The best reasons I can think of to kill the bad guy are as follows-
1) He is too stupid to live. Rather then flying out and toasting the young hero with his own dragon he sends wave after wave of comically incompetent goons to try and fail to capture him. Even in the final battle he doesn't just show up with his Dragon and wipe the hero out. What is he waiting for? The sequel? Well he is out of luck since this hunk of shit aint getting one.
2) John Malcovich puts in the worst performance I have EVER seen from him. This guy is a great actor, but here he seems to be putting on panto. Does he have a gambling debt and this movie was the only way to clear it? He looks like he would rather eat his own socks then be taking part in this shit fest.

The main selling point seems to be the idea of Dragon Riders.
Unless this kid invents a time machine and goes back in time to before Dragons of Pern, Dragon Lance and basically every other fantasy novel of the 20th century was written and gets his book published by his parents ancestors, this idea is not original. It is trite, over done and moronic.

What about the characters?
We have our hero, the last of the dragon riders (I guess not counting the Evil Emperor...yeah, like I said, try not to think too hard). What he certainly isn't is the first or last of the Mary Sue characters.
He is a whiny little bitch who is instantly good at everything, has an incredibly important birth right, develops special powers as and when the plot demands it and leaves you wanting him to get hit by a bus at every opportunity.

Jeremy Irons shows up as the aging Jedi (lets drop any pretenses, shall we?) who gets killed in a laughable sequence where the hero is about to be hit by a spear. Irons (who was not in the scene, and last time we saw him was hundreds of miles away) leaps through the door way to black the shot with his body. I wish I was exaggerating. Oh how I wish.

There is a Princess girl who gets captured and rescued, because that is what princesses do, isn't it? Why do bad guys always capture princesses anyway? I sort of suspect it is just so you aren't the only one who hasn't done it at the annual evil convention (how embarrassing would that be?)

There is some black guy who is the leader of the rebels, and has dreadlocks. Now I know, saying he is black and has dreadlocks does not sound like I am telling you much of interest about the character...but it is as much as the damn movie tells me!
The only interesting thing this guy does is that during the opening sequence where we see the rebels getting attacked in a montage we see a scene of the guy apparently dying while fighting soldiers in a cave. We later see him in the same cave battle scene at the end of the movie...yes they used a left over cut from the end battle to make the opening montage. I suppose I should not be surprised by these types of cost cutting efforts from a movie that opens with a painted backdrop representing the kingdom (no, it is not supposed to be a painting or anything, it is just clearly painted on because the movie is fucking cheap. Cheap and shit.)

The real star of this movie is the Editor. Though technically not a character, the Editors incompetent hacking is obvious throughout. Every time we start to forget about him, he is quick to remind us of his presence with some unbelievably hilarious shit.
Before the final battle we see that the black smiths have built a huge suit of armour for Eragons Dragon (a dragon that was so puny it could barely carry two people for most of the movie but now can carry 600 pounds of armour...sure...why not? I guess it has plot related strength.) Then when he battle starts the Dragon shows up in a completely different suit of armour. Were the prop builders and the CGI people not allowed to meet during filming? How did no one spot this? It isn't subtle! The first version of the armour has a face covering mask!

The best snafu is during a battle with an evil wizard where the hero (stood in front of the wizard) fires an arrow at the wizard, striking him in the forehead. We get a shot of the wizard reeling from this with a great big arrow sticking out of his head.
Can you imagine that? Sure you can.
Now the scene goes to close up as the wizard laughs evilly and fades away and the ARROW HEAD IS STICKING OUT OF HIS FOREHEAD!!! What the fuck? How did no one notice this?
The arrow hit him from the front, we saw it stuck there, and now it has swapped around and is facing the other way!
This is so pathetically amateurish you keep expecting a laugh track to start up.
So the hero discovers his powers, saves princess who-gives-a-shit, joins up with some shitty rebels I know nothing about and don't care about and defeat the evil empire who are evil because the movie told me so.
And the only question left is...
I don't care about this shitty generic world, I don't care about these card board knock off characters and I don't give a shit about some spoiled brats author insertion, Mary Sue hero.
This movie is a joke, made by people who obviously couldn't give two shits.
I put more effort into this review then they put into a god damn feature film.
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Larry seriously fuck Alf!

Maybe I will!
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White Wolf
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the book- actually pretty good. any similarity to the plot of star wars isn't so much an accident as it is that the plot of star wars is so archetypical that many many other stories can be directly compared to it with little effort. There are comparisons between star wars, LoTR, Kung Fu Panda, Karate kid, etc... that i've seen, and countless that i haven't.

Wagner's ring cycle could be directly related to star wars AND LoTR, and that came out in 1865 (I think. may have been earlier, or later)

And especially Conan. Conan is so like star wars.

Almost forgot Harry Potter. HP is one of those that directly correlates.


Batman in a way (stretching it a bit there)

The original Arthur. not sure about the remake though.

my point is, saying something has a similar plot to star wars isn't really a criticism, it's just a fact of stories. that plot has been done so many times that it went from original, to unoriginal, to an acceptable archetype.
Erragon just uses the archetype. the story itself was actually pretty original.

the movie- I wish I could unsee it.
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I actually watched that movie twice because I figured it couldn't be as bad as I thought it had been the first time.

But the books are actually okay.
Resident philosophy and history nut. And amateur swordsman.

"Purple swords? Darsai are weird." -Elyssa

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