Opening 14 Dec 2006
Directed by Stefen Fangmeier and based on the best-selling book by Christopher Paolini, Eragon stars Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory and John Malkovich. The voice of the dragon Saphira is performed by Rachel Weisz, and the screenplay is written by Peter Buchman.
The movie tells the story of Eragon (Speleers), a young boy who finds a dragon's egg and is destined to become dragon rider to Saphira (Weisz). This event changes his whole life and, together with the old warrior and traveller, Brom (Irons), sets him on a journey to shape the future of the whole world of Alagaesia, ruled by the evil tyrant, Galbatorix (Malkovich). Along the way, he rescues the beautiful Elven* princess Arya (Guillory), who joins the fight for freedom.
It is a classic fantasy tale, excellently told by Christopher Paolini, but sadly gone to waste on this movie production. Typically for movie versions of adventure books – though in some cases more successfully than others – the focus lies in the action, in this case failing to grasp the core and development of the characters, relationships and, most importantly, the main theme of the book: Eragon's transformation from farm boy to dragon-rider. In the movie the whole journey from his isolated home town, Carvahall, to the strongholds of the resistance fighting an evil empire, is vague to non existent. He effortlessly jumps from knowing nothing of magic to being something of a genius, from being a farm boy to a war hero, which is by no means implied in the book. As a fan of the "Inheritance" series, of which "Eragon" is the first part, I can only say I was deeply disappointed. The acting was poor, even though we see famous faces which should have been able to save something. The musical support is weak, even disturbing.
It is hard to look at this movie from the objective point of view of those who have not read book, but even there I doubt it would find a higher rating. It was more than disappointing to find that Elves, though an essential part of the books, are not mentioned as such in the movie. Nor does Arya have pointed ears!!! (Osanna Vaughn)