Eragon: Another Crappy Review
I wish I had checked Rotten Tomatoes before I went, which gives it a 12% freshness rating. The best review, from Andrew Wright of The Stranger: "A load of generic mush perhaps best served as a piece of bitchin' '70s van art." I know exactly what scene he was talking about (on the hill with the glass tomb), though I envisioned the dragon figurines you get at a mall kiosk.
This is what happens when something great happens in a specific genre in Hollywood, and why I do not have great hopes for New Line's Hobbit if it's not directed by Peter Jackson. Studios think it's a formula, that the cool genre makes the movie good. That's why New Line thinks Jackson is replaceable. No, sirs, LOTR was great because Jackson was given funding and freedom and he and his posse (the entire cast and crew) loved the shit out of the project and gave it their best.
Eragon felt like an afterthought, like no one put a great deal of thought and planning into it, and then later realized a few extra scenes were needed here and there to help put things in context, that a series of beauty shots don't a movie make.
Another strike against the film was in making me realize that I've gone over the hump into middle age. The attractive young man who plays Eragon has a shirtless scene, but all I felt was motherly pride that perhaps my sons would look like that in a few years, and thank goodness I don't have girls. I was more attracted to Jeremy Irons, who was, needless to say, the best thing in the film.
I mean, come on. There was narrative at the beginning of the film about how Aria, the princess of something or other, stole a stone from John Malkovich, then cut to John Malkovich sitting on his throne saying, in his best Velvety Richard III, "I suffer greatly without my stone." Yeah, okay. Here's your van: