|Fox 2000 Pictures | Release Date: December 15, 2006||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
The star of this fantasy adventure for young audiences is a charmer from the moment she is hatched (from a huge blue egg that starts to rock like a Mexican jumping bean). Her name is Saphira, she speaks with the voice of Rachel Weisz, and it doesn't matter that she's too young to breathe fire -- at first -- or that she waddles a bit on the ground, because she lives and breathes the joy of flight, which is exactly what was missing from most of Harry Potter's solos on a broom.
Director Stefen Fangmeier, a well-regarded special-effects man and second-unit director ("Master and Commander," "Galaxy Quest") does a superb job visualizing the CGI dragon. But Fangmeier is working with a script without a single memorable line and far too many characters and creatures with silly names. Read full review
Though the movie, which was adapted from a book written by Christopher Paolini when he was a teenager, aims high by ripping off the classics (even down to Eragon’s murdered uncle), what it most recalls are the cheesy lost sword-and-sorcery epics from the '80s, awful movies in the vein of "Yor: The Hunter From the Future" and "The Blade Master." Read full review
Though I don't think giving it a cuddly human personality and the vocals of Rachel Weisz helps much, the thing itself, part dog, part fish, part weasel, part dinosaur, is a terrific illusion, and the technical team manages to really sell the idea of flight. Too bad the acting is so lame, the story so derivative and the thing so long. Read full review
In a time of darkness, under the evil reign of John Malkovich -- who sits upon a throne in a different sound stage from the rest of the cast -- a hero shall rise. But lo, there will be little rejoicing, for this dragon rider (newcomer Edward Speleers) is but a nancy boy, about as imposing as Lance Bass, and somehow in possession of the only soap and clean clothes in all the land. Read full review
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