Two looks at 'Eragon'

December 19, 2006


"Eragon" is based on the popular book of the same name. The movie is the epic tale of a young farm boy (played by Edward Speleers) whose life goes from ordinary to extraordinary when a blue stone appears in the woods where he is hunting.

He discovers this is not a stone but an egg that contains the hopes of his world, hopes that are ignited when the egg hatches, revealing the young dragon who marks the boy as her rider.

He is thrust into an adventure when Durza (Robert Carlyle) sends killers after Eragon, a dragon-rider who could one day threaten the rule of the tyrant king, Galbatorix (John Malkovich). Durza's hunters murder Eragon's uncle, and the local storyteller (played by Jeremy Irons) urges Eragon to join the resistance against the king.


"Eragon" pales in comparison to the book, but this is the curse of book-based movies. While there are many inconsistencies and missing events when compared to the book, the movie itself is actually rather good.

The characters are portrayed very well. Speleers looks the part of a humble farm boy until the end when Eragon was outfitted in the armor of a dragon rider. Carlyle's Durza is terrific - as the movie goes on, his appearance grows more horrific until he looks as one would imagine a person who is possessed by demons.

Costumes are realistic - the villagers' clothes in Eragon's rustic hometown, the traveling clothes of Eragon and Brom, the supernatural golden outfit of Angela the fortuneteller, and the ornate clothes of Durza and Galbatorix.

The special effects are strong. Seeing Eragon and Saphira fly, I felt like I was flying with them.

Moviegoers might enjoy "Eragon" in its own right, but the movie does fall short when compared to the book. Newcomers to Eragon's land might find themselves becoming fans.


After seeing the movie "Eragon," I have two reviews.

If you have never read the book by teenager Christopher Paolini, here is your review: The movie is awesome! There is nonstop action, a good story line and amazing digital special effects.

If you have read the book, here is your review: The big-screen version is a disappointment. I won't say that it isn't put together well, but most of the movie doesn't follow the book. The filmmakers cut out many of the smaller characters, left out many parts of the story, and made the movie seem very much like "Star Wars" and "The Lord of the Rings."

I think they spent most of their special effects budget on Saphira, the dragon. That is the best part. The dragon is very believable. It really seems like she is alive.

Another point I would like to mention is the acting. It isn't bad, but there is so much action and so few lines of dialogue that none of the actors seem challenged by their roles.

"Eragon" is rated PG, so there are no cuss words. It's clean enough for young kids but exciting enough to keep teens interested.

My recommendation: See the movie first, then read the book. They are two very different experiences.

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