Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Dragon

directed by Leigh Scott

cover 
As a war rages between humans and dark elves, Princess Alora Vanir (Amelia Jackson-Gray) is alone in a forest. Ambushed by dark elves, she's lucky that a couple of her loyal subjects turn up in time to defend her. The small party set off through the dangerous and spooky forest of Sidhe, home to a fire-breathing dragon. Princess Alora needs to cross the forest on a mission to save her kingdom from war and imminent destruction.

Right from the off it's clear that Dragon is in a remedial class of its own. The cover blurb boasts comparisons with The Lord of the Rings and Reign of Fire, but Hawk The Slayer would be nearer the mark. The actors are outclassed by the trees in the forest. The situation isn't improved by the ham archaic dialogue that they have to spout, either.

The group soon encounter a small band led by Gareth Morholt (Jeff Denton), a mouthy rogue. More fighting ensues, perhaps because if there's lots of movement the audience might not notice that they are just moving through the same bits of forest over and over. These new characters fail to act any more convincingly than the others, and to top it all, it's obvious which ones are meant purely as dragon chow.

Dragon isn't redeemed by its special effects, unfortunately. The cgi dragon is several years behind its time, and the dark elves look a lot like people wearing boot black and joke-shop elf ears. We're supposed to believe that Freyja (Eliza Swenson) is a powerful magic user, but her odd-looking contact lenses and grey skin simply make her look sickly and spaced out. It's film-making on a poor child's pocket-money budget, and it shows.

The film has plenty of action, and this might have been its saving grace if only the fight choreography didn't leave so much to be desired. For example, if there had been any choreography. The pace of the story isn't slow, but all of the suspense is killed by an utterly predictable plot.

At 90 minutes Dragon is a mercifully short movie, but that also means there's no room for much character development, or any intriguing sub-plots or plot twists. The characters are all stock, the Princess Alora watery and dull. The only vaguely interesting character is the rogue, Gareth, but he gets very little screen time, and calling him slightly interesting is still a stretch. He's inclined to lecturing and seems to like the sound of his own voice, giving a very long and dull whinge at one point. He's no Han Solo.

Since we have a princess, sword fighting, and a dragon, the cliché wouldn't be complete without a love interest. And right on cue it arrives, in an extremely crummy scene devoid of any real feeling (unless you count nausea). The latter half of Dragon is hopelessly melodramatic, and it leads up to one of the most anticlimactic endings in cinematic history. It's as though they ran out of money before the finale was fully complete.

This is an awful film, and should be avoided at all costs.

Film Details

Year: 2006

Categories: Films

  Fantasy

Classification: 12

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0 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson