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Dragonquest (2009) (V)
6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
I so wanted to like this..., 11 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In short: Cliché story, zero character development, horrible acting, abysmal special effects, cheesy script, bad choreography, bad everything, everything, EVERYTHING.

Okay, onto the specifics: First, the story. A poor farm boy (apparently orphaned) is thrown into a quest to find a set of magical stones to help defeat a big bad dragon and overthrow an evil wizard. Along the way he meets Arse-Kicking Action Girl and Wizened Old Mentor. Wizened Old Mentor ends up dying, Maybe Orphaned Farm Boy and Arse-Kicking Action Girl hook up (for no apparent reason). If it seems like there's less than zero originality there, it's because that's exactly what the film is like. Clichés can work if done right - this does not.

Character development. By the end of the film, we still know absolutely nothing about the main character, or his two sidekicks. Hell, we barely know anything about the villain. And that's not even beginning on the random characters that just sort of appear for a scene or two then vanish without a trace, of which there are many.

And then we get to the acting. I couldn't tell if the actor playing Maxim (Wizened Old Mentor) was intentionally trying to portray the character's eccentric-ness or something, but the amount of overacting was shocking, making me laugh even during the most dramatic of moments. And it wasn't limited to him, either. No one seemed to fit their role well, save a select few.

The special effects are, quite simply, the worst I've ever seen in a movie, EVER. They make the old Godzilla movies look like Lord of the Rings. Every time the dragon appeared, I couldn't help but hear it say "I'm definitely NOT CGI". And during the war between two armies near the beginning (which, curiously, is never mentioned again...hmmm...)...this isn't even Photoshop, it's MSPaint.

As a massive fan of anything dragon-related, it's been so long since I've seen a decent dragon movie. The last one I can remember was DragonHeart, released way back in 1997 (and it says something about this 2009 film when a movie twelve years ago was able to craft a realistic looking dragon who I could believe was actually up there on set with the actors, whereas this can't even make a convincing spear-through-body effect). As such, I so badly wanted to like this, I really wanted it to be something special. As it is though, it's so bad it's terrible. One to avoid at all costs.