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To say this movie was a disappointment would be an understatement. I feel BETRAYED.
The trailer and lack of an all-star cast warned me that "The Crown and the Dragon" was probably going to be a low-budget film, so I was not surprised or disappointed by the poor quality of the acting or the mediocre cinematic aspects of the film. The effects actually somewhat exceeded my expectations, which are pretty relaxed and forgiving for low budget movies. However, a small budget is no excuse for terrible writing. The story made little sense and the dialogues and narration were heavy handed. The directing was also mediocre.
The Crown and the Dragon's greatest fail, however, was the quality of its characters. This movie touts a female director/co-writer and a plot synopsis that gives the impression of a progressive storyline with a strong, inspiring female protagonist (rare in the fantasy genre):
official synopsis: " In a country cursed with a dragon, Elenn, an arrogant young noblewoman, accompanies her aunt on a mission to bring an ancient relic to the secret coronation of the rightful king of their people. When her aunt is murdered on the road by occupying enemy soldiers, Elenn hires a smuggler and criminal, Aedin, to escort her across the dangerous country so she can take her aunt's place at the coronation. But when Corvus, a rogue magister of the empire, employs a dark magic to retrieve the ancient relic for his own evil designs, Elenn must find the humility and strength within herself to fulfill her aunt's calling to free her people, and become a Paladin - the long foretold dragonslayer"
Elenn sounds like a hero, right? Wrong.
Without revealing too much, I will say that the "heroine" Elenn is far from an inspiring female figure. She's a damsel in distress trope who, despite supposedly being the protagonist of the film with purported powers, is reduced to a love interest/the object of men's affection... men who are the ones that ultimately drive the plot. The other few women of the film don't escape the filmmaker's internalized sexism, either.
In short, this film is a B movie that promises a breath of fresh air to the fantasy genre, but delivers little more than stale, hot wind. Thanks, Anne K. Black, for throwing women under the bus.
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