Rated NR

This first installment of a scheduled series is no more than an overpriced excuse to make action figures for the next couple of years. Teenage prodigy Christopher Paolini transferred his schoolboy dreams of slaying sorcerers and riding dragons into a wildly popular young-adult book, and now director Stefen Fangmeier brings it all to the local cineplex, but with far less brilliance. When an oddly clean farm boy in medieval-like times of grime and candlelit ambience finds an enormous blue egg, his pristine life is forever changed. A dark sorcerer with vermin-infested man-beast sidekicks hunt the titular hero, because the blue egg has hatched into a telepathic dragon. Luckily, a haggard-looking ex-dragon rider and magical skills help Eragon through his fantastical journey. Despite its epic potential, the film version employs choppy editing, clichéd storytelling devices and the random insertion of independent scenes seemingly tossed haphazardly onto the big screen.

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