Friday, December 15, 2006

Review of Eragon

As I said last night, I got access to a free pass for Eragon tonight. I can't think of a good reason to pass up a free movie, so we went.

I don't care what anyone else says, I enjoyed the movie. It didn't strike me as anything spectacular and more as something B-grade, but I still rather enjoyed it. Paying full price wouldn't have even hindering my enjoyment of it. It even made my ears well up with a little moisture, too.

In full disclosure, I've never read the book. Plenty of people who have read the book will probably disagree with me. At least, everyone who went with me to see the movie tonight and read the book did so.

They all complained about it being, to sum up, derivative and not really having the kind of depth that made the book good. And they say that after disclosing that even though the book doesn't necessarily reach the level of stellar literature, it still makes for a good read that engages you.

With all that said, the blame for the movie's mediocrity falls on the script (way too many predictable and cheesy lines), the director and the acting. The movie simply didn't feel natural, and not in a good way. It kind of reminded me of the original Star Wars: A New Hope without good edits, cuts and the acknowledgment of simplicity. It tried doing too much with a novice crew, and it showed.

I found myself saying, afterward, that I had corrected many of the narrative holes and errors in my mind. Not necessarily a horrible thing. . .except that I had promptly forgotten that those elements of intuitive corrections came from me, not necessarily from cues in the movie. As such, even though it had plenty of bad things happening because of a novice crew, it had some pretty good source material.

From the good source, I have to assume the books do have the potential to engage me and get me lost in a world and in some certain characters. And also since some of the edits and cuts noticeably felt clumsy and unnatural, the crew probably filmed some other scenes that would work great in the movie. I could see the beginnings of some good themes going on in the movie, the hero cycle, the impetuousness of youth and wisdom of adulthood, the decadence of a leader and so on and so forth.

The movie had some great potential, but the people running it just didn't execute the final product well. Maybe, with the deleted scenes, it will come off as a good, enjoyable movie. For now, though, barring the special effects of the dragon and few highlights from John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons and Edward Speleers (even if he takes the title from Haydon Christensen as 'biggest whipping boy of Fanboys' for this movie), Eragon isn't a movie to get excited about.

Unless you're a hormonal guy and want to enjoy the sight of Sienna Guillory. But, then again, she really isn't in the movie all that much. She doesn't make a good reason to get excited about it, either.


June said...

Having read the books and seen the trailers, I have decided not to see the movies based solely on the fact that Sienna Guillroy has blonde hair. Her character in the book has jet black hair - an important part of her character, from what I can remember.

My mom used to tell me that she didn't like to watch movie adaptations of books because she preferred the pictures she had in her mind over the movie interpretations. I never thought I'd agree with her - but I do.

I'm turning into my mother!!

The_Lex said...

Thanks, June!!!! You took away the purpose of my urgency last night to post this review right when I got home. =b

Nonetheless, I wouldn't follow your mom's advice 100% of the time. After all, LOTR rocked. They executed The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe well, too. We could probably list a number of good adaptations. The Harry Potter movies came off well, too.

But I haven't read Eragon, so my opinion can't really rest on comparing the two. Maybe I will someday, though. After all, the fiancee has them amongst our many other books.