Dragonheart

"OK"

Dragonheart Review


It's going to be a long summer, at this rate.

Trying as hard as possible to be Braveheart with a dragon (hell, look at the title!), Dragonheart is a pretty dismal affair, punctuated by a couple of good performances, a show-stealing computer-generated dragon (with a heart of gold), and a really, really hackneyed story line.

The story line in question is this: young Einon (Lee Oakes) is heir to the throne in 982 A.D. England. His mentor is Bowen (Dennis Quaid), who tries to teach him "the Old Code" of honor and knighthood. When the King dies, Einon suddenly finds himself the ruler of England, but not before a nearly-fatal wound. Mom (Julie Christie) is quick to the rescue... suggesting that the dragon on the hill (voice: Sean Connery) can heal him. He does, by giving him half of his heart. Stop laughing; there's more.

Well, Einon (now David Thewlis) grows up to be a real jerk and Bowen blames the dragon for this. He sets out on a quest to kill all the dragons in the land and almost succeeds. When he meets one last dragon many years later, they, well, they become friends. And then they overthrow the bad king, and there are some more silly things that happen... but basically this is just a story about a dragon.

The good things in Dragonheart are rather hard to come by. A number of scenes are genuinely exciting. Pete Postlethwaite as a wayward monk is the most fun of all the characters. And regular readers will understand why Dina Meyer's crimson-haired sidekick character earns my special praise as well. But of course, the only real reason to see the film is Draco, the animated dragon. He's not quite Puff... but he kicks a lot of ass.

Then again, that may not be such a good reason at all. It's really hard to get excited about computer-generated effects these days, especially when they are used in place of a decent story. The really dumb script just kills this picture. For example: the prince is such a jerk, I was ready to kill him in the opening scene; Bowen's hatred of dragons is about the most irrational thing in the world; can you imagine a dragon using the word "Yikes?"; Bowen is essentially indestructible; how many dragons have a voice like Sean Connery anyway--I think Bowen would be able to recognize him by that alone; and much, much more!

Dragonheart also manages to pack every fantasy movie cliché in the world into the picture, from the big scene teaching the villagers how to fight to the damsel in distress to the big mano a mano duel at the end. The only original take on any of this is Draco running amok in the scenes. Add to that an finale that's supposed to be touching but turns out to be just plain goofy, and you've got an enormous mess on your hands.

The tagline to this film is, "You will believe." Insert your own joke here.



Dragonheart

Facts and Figures

Run time: 103 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st May 1996

Box Office Worldwide: $115.3M

Budget: $57M

Distributed by: MCA Universal Home Video

Production compaines: Universal Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Bowen, as King Einon, as Gilbert of Glockenspur, as Kara, as Queen Aislinn, as Draco (voice), as King Arthur (voice) (uncredited), Lee Oakes as Young Einon, Brian Thompson as Brok, as Lord Felton, Wolf Christian as Hewe, Terry O'Neill as Redbeard, Eva Vejmělková as Felton's Minx, Milan Bahúl as Swamp Village Chief, Peter Hric as King Freyne, Sandra Kovacicova as Young Kara, Kyle Cohen as Boy in Field, Thom Baker as Aislinn's Chess Partner

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.