EP Review: Eragon

A film by Stefen Fangmeier.

Reviewed by Jonathon Sullivan.

Comments (26)

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  1. christian says:

    Thanks for the warning, I think I can now safely and without fear of regret skip that movie.

  2. DLJessup says:

    A nitpick….

    As I write this, the podcast file is named “EPReview015_Eragon.mp3”. The last EP Review before this was “EPReview015_TheFountain.mp3”, so this should be indexed as 016, not 015.

    — DLJessup (who just watched large portions of a _Monk_ marathon)

  3. Sullydog says:


  4. Minime283 says:

    The movie was a crappy movie. A very crappy movie. I really enjoyed the book, but the movie took the book and destroyed it. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE, but do not judge the book by this movie either.

  5. oddpod says:

    my 11 year old son recons this is the best film he has ever seen!

    if you are a grown up then yes , go watch somthing else, i hear pans laberinth is good

    if you have young kids thay will love this cheaze fest

  6. Terrence says:

    I have to say, I DID like the book…even though Paolini’s “inspiration” was obvious. And Book Two was sooo much better…

    But alas, when I heard of the film production, I dared to hope for something worth seeing, but the previews and teasers squashed those hopes. So I am totally unsurprised with this review.

  7. spycer says:

    Thanks for putting into words exactly what I wanted to express. I too tried to read the book, and made it a whole 18 pages before I tossed it for trash. I feared there would be some reason I might have to watch the movie, but now I’m quite relieved.

  8. J Irving says:

    This was a compelling review. I’ve been passing it around like a grubby old youtube link. Mr Sullivan, your timing is impeccable.

  9. Dave T. says:

    I read the book, thought it was mediocre but kind of fun. It is amazing how much of a riff on Star Wars it is.

    I’ve heard in other places that the movie bummed out a lot of kids who LOVED the book, too. So maybe it’s not for them, either. The real question was whether or not it was worse than Dungeons and Dragons?

  10. Jeez Sullydog, you’d better see a movie you like soon or people will mistake you for me :p

  11. SFEley says:

    My opinion of the film was sealed the first time I saw the great big cardboard standup display in a movie theater. All gray and black, with a huge array of characters facing the camera — and not a single one of them looked like they were having any fun.

    That’s all it took for me.

  12. Gary H says:

    Great review. I listened to the book, as did my daughter (who I think was 9 or 10 at the time) and we enjoyed it, even if it was recycled material. It was just entertainment. We saw the movie together and both thought it was a waste. She’s 11 now, and was extremely disappointed in the movie, as was I. Bad acting, bad choice of actors, bad sets, costumes, etc.

    BTW – the audio level of the mp3 was pretty low compared to regular Escape Pod episodes.

  13. Hysteria says:

    While I didn’t care for the book, and quite frankly the movie feels from the previews like it’s aping Lord of the Rings, I didn’t care for this review, either.

    When I read or listen to a review, I like to get an honest opinion about why the movie was good or bad, with preferably some facts to back it up. Instead, I got about six minutes plus of someone saying how great Tolkien was, how so few people managed to replicate his success as a storyteller, and how this movie is just one more in a long line. Then I’m subjected to some snarky referring to Eragon as “Luke,” among other things. Basically, the review was a bit more eloquent than some idiot posting on a message board “Eragon suxxors!” but not by much.

  14. Hysteria, by facts, I’m assuming you mean “reasons”. Sullydog said the film was derivitive, had bad acting, lousy direction… those all sound like specific reasons to back up his negative opinion.

  15. Hysteria says:

    I’m not arguing with his reasons or his negative opinions. In fact, I agree with them, surprisingly enough. It was when he got sarcastic/trying to be funny that lowered my opinion of the review.

  16. […] Eine vernichtende Kritik zu Eragon gibt es als Podcast bei Escape Pod. Dort ist alles gesagt, was man sich schon beim Ansehen des Buches oder Kinoplakats denkt. Meine Unterst¸fler mˆgen’s mir verzeihen. […]

  17. Sullydog says:

    A rough translation of that, as near as I can tell (no German speaker, I):

    At Escape Pod, a devastating criticism of “Eragon.” Pretty much says it all; what one already imagines given the reputation of the book and the cinematic poster.

    Does anybody know what an “Unterst√ºfler” is, and why you’d want it to forgive you?

  18. Magess says:

    I thought Jeremy Irons was the only vaguely redeeming thing about this movie. Mostly because he was interesting. As a person. I cared when he spoke, which is more than I can say for anyone else in the entire movie.

    What a voice to choose for a dragon!

    Has John Malcovich ever been a good actor? I think everything I’ve seen him in lately, all he does is play himself. Wispy voice, weird eyes, slightly drugged, talks slow. What’s the big deal?

    And ranger guy. What a waste he was. His whole role was to shoot, what, 3 arrows? I can only assume that in the book his character was something approaching interesting. But damn. Did he even HAVE a name?

    For what it’s worth, I think the “comedy” Hysteria was complaining about is just fine. That, in and of itself, was the commentary. Eragon is a movie that you see and want to make fun of. Or perhaps you make fun of while in the theater for all the stupidity on screen. Using Star Wars names really is telling you something about Eragon. That’s how much it’s exactly the same as Star Wars. And it’s easier to just substitute names than give you all the details as to how it’s exactly the same. Is it snarky? Sure. But what’s wrong with snark. 🙂

  19. Estara says:

    @Sullydog: “Unterst√ºfler” are younger students in secondary school, classes 5 to 7, I’d say.

    Herr Rau hopes they’ll forgive him the fact that he’s linking to a negative review of the movie, most probably because all his Unterst√ºfler really enjoy the film.

    I was talking to a German 15 year old recently and he enjoyed it, too.
    Incidentally, although I’ve neither read the book nor watched the film I truly enjoyed the review ^^.

  20. Jake says:

    JESUS! when was the last time this guy reviewed something he liked?! sure, the movie was shit, but did he have to bash the book too?
    ok. im done being mad now. am i the only one who didnt see the connection to star wars until sullydog pointed it out? i actually think it was a fairly clever re-interpretation of the story, and not something that should be criticized. i mean, the movie ran was a good idea, right? and the lion king was a good movie, but it was just hamlet! i think sullydog should chill out on the book. not on the movie. the movie was crap.

  21. sullydog says:

    Hi, Jake:

    Thanks for the note. I wanted to answer your question:

    You can hear reviews of stuff I “liked” (or at least gave positive reviews) here on the site:

    “The Fountain”
    “Full Metal Yakuza”
    “A Scanner Darkly”
    “Superman Returns”
    “Xmen 3” (I actually got in trouble for “liking” this one.)
    “Night Watch”

    Actually, it looks like my positive reviews outnumber my negative ones, to the extent that that means anything.

    You are correct about _Ran_ and, to a lesser extent _Lion King_. But _Ran_ in particular was an open adaptatoin of Lear; Kurosawa was very up front about this. As I made clear in the review, I found Eragon to be not so much a homage to _Star Wars_ as…well, a ripoff. 🙂

  22. Scott says:

    I thought the review was pretty funny and those of us who want to write good spec fic of any stripe have our work cut out for us if we don’t want to be compared to the giants who’ve come before. Heck you have that problem if you’re writing anything I suppose, but in SF there seem to be themes/archetypes that we see more often than not an if you’re going to use them then you need to do something fresh with them.

  23. Kurt says:

    After seeing the film…

    The movie Eragon resembled the book Eragon almost as much as the movie “I Robot” resembled the collection of stories called “I, Robot.”

  24. kolibri says:

    Can’t remember the last time I laughed this much! I’ve been just listening to Eragon in my iPod and it’s been so painful to get through… after this I don’t feel so bad for skipping it and moving on to something a bit more gripping.

  25. I have the book on CD. It’s an excellent reading of a pretty good book. My 10 year old loves it.

    We went to the movie. Afterwords, i asked him if we should pick up the DVD when it comes out. When pushed to compare against much of anything else, he said “no”.

    He complained about the things that were missing. “Where was Joad?”.

    I thought the movie was pretty bad, but for differant reasons. I expected most of the book to be cut, and much of what remained to be altered. Meets expectations. But having the dragon grow up in a 15 second CGI sequence was pretty bad, for example. They could have just gone from winter to spring, in about the same screen time. It may be magic, but there’s still suspension of disbelief.

    While the line “I suffer without my stone” was poor, worse was the whole throne room scene. What king would choose to live like that? And, it pointlessly differed from the book’s stories of court intrigue.

  26. noname says:

    reading the book before might make the movie better but one of my friends saw the movie before reading the book and still liked eragon. some people are thinking eragon is just a bad movie because its like lord of the rings etc is that an excuse and people who say its like lotr then go and say a whole lot of bad stuff about it which doesnt make sence.also i didnt know eragon was such a hobbit (THE LOTR MAIN CHARACTERS). the reason some people seem to like eragon more is probably because they dont watch lotr or star wars all the time.