Paolini was 15 when he began writing Eragon, and the book's epic imagination reflects its creator's precocious youth. What a shame a bunch of grownups had to step in and muck it all up.
There are lots of recycled movie lines, as ageless and hard to kill as a dragon: You are brave, but foolish ... Murder them all, but the boy is mine ... Most dragon riders take years to learn what you know by instinct. Etc., etc.
First-time director Stefen Fangmeier delivers, giving young adults a teen hero astride a flying dragon (voice of Rachel Weisz) and a comely girl warrior, Arya (Sienna Guillory), who, like Luke and Leia, join forces and wits to bring down the evil empire.
The title of Hollywood's latest fantasy epic is simply the word 'dragon' with one letter changed, and unfortunately, that's about the level of creativity you can expect from Eragon.
Appropriating all the external trappings of big-budget fantasy but none of the requisite soul, this leaden epic never soars like the CG-rendered fire-breather at the core of its derivative mythology.
The script, which reaches for importance by repeating ideas, drags down the actors, who try to do the same thing by throwing periods into the middle of a sentence: "Take care of Saphira. Without her. You'll find that life is hardly worth living."