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Film Review - Dragonheart
Much of the history of Europe around 900 AD has been either forgotten or ignored by Americans. Europe was finishing about 300 years of almost continuous war, and many legends that have no factual place in history are told of that period. Many of those legends revolve around dragons.
Dragonheart is a new story loosely based on all the old stories. An unjust king falls in battle. His innocent son is injured. He is the hope of the future. The queen takes the boy to a cave where a dragon lives, in search of a miracle. The dragon saves the boy in return for a promise. But the boy is cut from the same cloth as the dead king, he goes back on his promise, and the dark times continue.
This is also the story of the fall from grace of a knight. The knight had been the boy's mentor and had sworn an oath to the dragon, not out of obligation but out of appreciation. When the boy turns to evil, the knight blames the dragon, and begins a campaign of killing off all the dragons.
Of course, as in all stories of good against evil, there is a day of reckoning, when the knight will have to decide what he really believes in. Both his and the dragon's souls hang in the balance, and neither can be redeemed unless the evil boy, now king, can be defeated.
This film may feel familiar to you. These are tried and true themes passed down over a thousand years. Even Luke Skywalker went through this in the Star Wars Trilogy. The hook in Dragonheart is the dragon. Drago is a computer-generated character. His movement throughout the film is unrestricted. Facial movements were made by observing Sean Connery's face as he recorded Drago's voice. And as is Yoda in the Star Wars Trilogy, Draco, a non-human character, is the wizard who dispenses the wisdom that comes with age.
If it's video night at your house, and you'd like your kids to see something with a little more of a message than the latest Schwarzenegger film, this is a good candidate.
Directed by Rob Cohen
Released in 1996
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo