Eragon squanders its potential on the most by the numbers fantasy film imaginable. Just about every cliché is covered in the most boring way possible. I remember when Eragon came out. It was part of three trailers that premiered on Nickelodeon. Night at the Museum, Deck the Halls, and of course Eragon. The movie didn’t look terrible, but I didn’t care enough to give it a shot. Fun fact: Eragon is actually the last movie ever released on VHS. It’s a shame Eragon was such a failure, because I can really relate to the book’s author. Christopher Paolini wrote The Inheritance Cycle when he was 18, just like how I’ve created a lot of stories when I was very young.
Although I’d probably hate Eragon more if I knew the source material, there’s still too much that doesn’t work in a serious movie adaptation. The land of Alagaësia or villain Galbatorix are silly sounding no matter the medium. Respected actors Jeremy Irons or John Malkovich are either uninvested or overacting. The titular Eragon is the standard farm boy with no definable character traits. He’s raised by an uncle, gains a wise mentor, and embarks on a quest after becoming the chosen one. Eragon hinges on the reemergence of Dragon Riders.
Saphira is a blue dragon hatched from an egg who grows to adulthood in a matter of seconds, psychically communicates with Eragon, and has the non-threatening voice of Rachel Weisz. I’d say this is a “boy and his dragon” story, but Saphira is barely around. Since Eragon is desperately trying to set up sequels that will never come, the main villain looms in the background while Robert Carlyle takes over as a Rumplestiltskin clone. Every other fantasy box is checked off with a vaguely defined elf princess, a vaguely defined rogue, and vaguely defined world building. The nice scenery and dragon CGI are really the only positives. Other than that, Eragon doesn’t take off.