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Teen Movie Critic



Roger Davidson

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One of the many special effects filled films of this summer, this story takes place in a medieval kingdom, ruled by a cruel and cold-hearted king (David Thewlis of Naked). Two forces of good, a Knight of the old code (Dennis Quaid) and a compassionate dragon (voice of Sean Connery) are the only ones who can lead a rebellion against the tyrant. However, Quaid has trouble trusting the dragon. The reason is told early in the film. When Thewlis was young, Quaid was his teacher. One day, Thewlis was gravely injured and only a dragon's strong heart could save him. So Draco, the Connery-voiced dragon, gave the young king half his heart. It made Thewlis stronger and he recovered quite quickly. But, alas, he also grew evil and remorseless. Unfortunately, Quaid feels his that the kingdom's misery is due to the Dragon and the alliance between the two is an uneasy one.

The story attempts to be a cross between Braveheart and Willow, but it turns out to be nothing like either of them. Quaid is also no Mel Gibson. He doesn't seem to be having any fun with his role, unlike Connery, who has plenty of good humor about voicing a dragon. But, there is another shortcoming. When Connery speaks, it seems like it's James Bond portraying a dragon, instead of Connery simply playing a dragon. It also gets really confusing when it turns from a grim war story to grim fairy tale and ends up as a piece of fluff, with Connery playing Draco a la Puff the Magic Dragon. The special effects are quite good, but not extraordinary. It's all been done before and it has too many similarities to Dragonslayer. One of the few good points of this long, dull fantasy is Thewlis' truly evil performance as the tyrant king. Besides the dragon, he's almost worth the price of admission.

My Rating = Two Stars

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