Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. This review is about as negative as you can get. It seems the movie didn't just work for our spy, a grown man, but it failed completely for adolescent and teenage relatives at the screening, who were fans of the book and devastated by the liberties taken. Can this possibly fail on all levels? I hope it's more entertaining than the early word suggests, but realistically I have to doubt that'll be the case. Here's the review:
I work for a major entertainment company and was offered tickets to a preview of "Eragon" at Northpark Mall in Dallas earlier tonight. I haven't read the books, but I was accompanied by two 11 year old boys who had along with my college age niece, who's also a fan of the series. We didn't like it. My son was disappointed almost to tears at the liberties the film took with the novel. Apparently the big climactic battle is created out of whole cloth and has no counterpart in the novell. As a writer I know of the many challenges faced in adapting a novel to the screen, but from what I could see much of the spirit of the novel is lost in this cinematic translation. The character of Eragon is a sketch - almost no effort is given to let us see him as a human. He simply acts the way he acts - impulsive at times, belligerent on occasion - because the script demands it of him. Time is compressed in a very clumsy way - so much so that the dragon ages from infancy to something like late adolescence in the course of a single flight on a single afternoon. And no, this is no cinematic license, it's literally one afternoon. Jeremy Irons does what he can lending his gravitas to the obligatory teacher - student dynamic but frankly, Eragon is such an impuslive ass you wonder why Irons doesn't just cold cock him and take off on the dragon himself. And don't ask about poor John Malkovich. If his career was in a stall before this movie, it will shortly be in a nose-dive. The direction is just... words fail me. It's not really bad so much as it's inadequate. The film is edited as if it's been carved out of a bigger and maybe better movie - perhaps in the interesting of getting it down to a reasonable time, but the result is an edit job full of awkward transitions, scenes that seem to end before they should, and a herky jerky pace that pulls you out of the film. The most damning evidence - the almost tearful state of my 11 year old son who's been looking forward to this movie for months and is now bitterly disappointed because - in his words - "they made a mockery of it." If you use this, Harry, sign me "Son of Bob".