‘Eragon” is a dragon fantasy aimed at adolescent audiences, adapted from a book written, remarkably, by an adolescent boy for adolescent readers. Other age groups need not apply.
Older, more experienced audiences will know they’ve seen most of it before, and with superior dialogue and more enriched characters.
(I’m thinking primarily of “Dragonslayer,” but “Eragon” also echoes “Star Wars” and myriad other famous boy adventures.)
In terms of narrative, “Star Wars” is the most obvious model, since “Eragon” involves a young farm boy who becomes a great warrior, helping a rebel army battle an evil, corrupt empire.
These are gallant knights who ride their beloved dragons against injustice, represented here by a dictatorial king (John Malkovich) and his own Darth Vader, the villainous Durza (Robert Carlyle).
Praise must be given to the most effective dragon yet brought to celluloid. She’s more believable than most of the humans in the film. The director, Stefen Fangmeier, was the visual effects go-to guy for such films as “Master and Commander,” “The Bourne Identity” and “The Perfect Storm.”