Eragon Review
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Now that the Lord of the Rings movies and the Star Wars movies have all been released, teenage boys and geeks of all ages needed some new epic fantasy movies to eagerly anticipate. Fortunately, along came Christopher Paolini—who began writing his first fantasy novel, Eragon, when he was just 15. Now, the first book in Paolini’s series arrives on the big screen, to the relief of teenage boys everywhere. But is it really the Next Big Thing? Not a chance.

Eragon stars Edward Speleers as the title character, a seventeen-year-old farm boy who finds a strange rock while he’s out hunting in the forest. The rock actually turns out to be an egg, which hatches into a dragon.

It’s been years since dragons last flew through the skies with their dragon riders. Not a single dragon has been seen since King Galbatorix (John Malkovich) killed them all. So when the king learns that another dragon has hatched, he sends sorcerer Durza (Robert Carlyle) to kill the dragon’s rider, thereby killing the dragon as well.

When Durza’s assassins kill Eragon’s uncle in their hunt for Eragon, he and his dragon, Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz), decide to fight back—with the help of a mysterious old man named Brom (Jeremy Irons), who knows more about dragons and their riders than anyone Eragon has ever met. Though he’s confident that he’ll be able to take on any enemy he may encounter, Eragon soon discovers that he’s got a lot to learn.

Eragon is what happens when young boys spend their weekends holed up in their basements, reading Lord of the Rings and watching the Star Wars movies for the 200th time instead of hanging out at the mall or going to school dances or playing soccer. While it’s impressive that a 15-year-old boy wrote a book that eventually became such a cult favorite—and, I’m sure, bought him lots of video games—I really wish that young Christopher Paolini had gone out and experienced life a bit more before picking up the pen. Because, while I haven’t read Paolini’s books, I can tell you that Eragon isn’t the classic it claims to be. Instead, it’s little more than a rehashing of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars—but with none of the magic. The characters are nothing new (a headstrong young chosen one who grows up living with his uncle…the old man who becomes his mentor and teaches him to use the magic he possesses—any of that sound familiar?). And it doesn’t help that Speleers gives a bland performance as the title character, either. On top of that, the story is weak, predictable, and poorly written—and the dialogue is often ridiculous. I think the best thing about this movie is John Malkovich’s classic over-the-top performance—which, sadly, lasts only a few minutes.

As a result, Eragon is, in a word, laughable. Even some of the geeky guys who cheered when the movie started were snickering by the end. And I was, too. It was just so bad that I couldn’t help it.

So unless you’re a 14-year-old boy who owns a lightsaber and is fluent in Elvish, you’ll find that Eragon is painfully ridiculous. If you do see it, though, it will give you a whole new respect for both Peter Jackson and George Lucas.

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