STARRING: Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory, Robert Carlyle, John Malkovich, Garrett Hedlund, Djimon Hounsou

2006, 100 Minutes, Directed by:
Stefan Fangmeier

Eragon is a work of such staggering unoriginality that not merely does it steal plot points and characters wholesale from the first Star Wars movie, but it is at times almost a shot-for-shot remake of George Lucas’ 1977 flick. In one scene our teenaged blonde-haired hero mopes while staring at the distant sunset, and I half expected there to be two suns in the sunset and not just one . . .

Apparently author Christopher Paolini wrote the novel on which the movie is based while still a teenager. It shows. Heck, when I was in my early teens I used to write and draw comic books that stole wholeheartedly from sources such as Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and other comics such as Fantastic Four. Only difference was that I never got published, nor did my plagiarized comics become a national bestseller before being made into a tedious medium-budgeted big screen Hollywood flick to which unsuspecting cinema patrons expecting another Lord of the Rings or even Chronicles of Narnia for the month of December would be mercilessly subjected.

Sour grapes? Probably – I forked out a full ticket price to see Eragon. Stop me if you have heard any of the following before: a long time ago a caste of magicians with special powers known as the Jedi, er . . sorry . . . Dragon Riders was betrayed by one of their own, Darth Va . . . er, sorry . . . King . . .

"George Lucas should sue their sorry plagiarist asses!"

Well, never mind. Soon our blonde-haired teenaged farm boy hero Luke Skywalker, er sorry, I just can’t do this without plagiarizing myself as I’m sure every other critic you have read by now have pointed out these similarities. (At one stage in the story I was thinking “Mmmh . . they haven’t thrown in a Han Solo equivalent yet” and whadda know? In steps a new sardonic sidekick for our hero! )

Eragon is simply Star Wars retold in a Lord of the Rings setting. It is such an obvious rip-off that I fervently hope that George Lucas would sue their rotten useless plagiarist asses, even though he is already so decadently rich by this time by plagiarizing himself and others. (It would however mean suing the company which handles the distribution of his Star Wars movies, namely 20th Century Fox).

When something is as ploddingly unoriginal as Eragon it becomes a chore to sit through. And when you’ve stopped shaking your head in disbelief at how brazenly they stole from Star Wars, you’re angry that you didn’t go see Casino Royale again or perhaps even Happy Feet (hey, you just gotta love seeing those cute singing penguins trying to survive their harsh and cruel environment).

Everything about Eragon is cut rate, including the special effects and sets which tries to achieve the sort of scale and majesty attained by Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy but just ends up looking second rate by comparison. Also, Ed Speleers as our hero Eragon gets my vote as most wooden performance in a fantasy/sci-fi flick since . . . well . . . Hayden Christensen as Young Darth Vader in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Listen, I’ll spare you the hassle and a few bucks. If you want an Eragon experience (except a good one), re-rent the Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings trilogies instead. If you want a bad Eragon experience, check out Dungeons & Dragons (which also starred a pay check collecting Jeremy Irons) and Attack of the Clones again. And make your own popcorn – it’ll cost your far less than what the cinemas are shaking you down for . . .


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