We gave it a C-
It is impossible to sit through Eragon and not think incessantly of better movies like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and that great boy-and-his-firebreathing-lizard epic, Pete?s Dragon. This is the fantasy tale of a 17-year-old named Eragon (Edward Speleers, pictured), who one day finds a big blue egg in the forest. Soon enough he is the proud papa of a baby dragon, which, after just one first flight, efficiently morphs into a giant blue dragon named Saphira, voiced with a porny-ish purr by Rachel Weisz. Many other well-known actors actually deliver the movie’s silly dialogue in person, including John Malkovich as the kingdom’s evil ruler (”As long as I am king, disloyalty shall be punishable by death!”), Robert Carlyle as his minion (”Taste the blood of your dragon!”), and Jeremy Irons as the boy?s wise Qui-Gon Jinn (”Before you cast a spell, you must learn the ancient language of the elves”). Eragon?s mission is to become ”a dragon rider,” a breed of endangered warrior that rides dragons, and the scenes of the kid sailing across the film?s green landscapes on the back of his CGI sidekick, battling nasties or just enjoying the view, are really the only tolerable moments. Though the movie, which was adapted from a book written by Christopher Paolini when he was a teenager, aims high by ripping off the classics (even down to Eragon?s murdered uncle), what it most recalls are the cheesy lost sword-and-sorcery epics from the ’80s, awful movies in the vein of Yor: The Hunter From the Future and The Blade Master. So give Eragon a few years: By then, it might be delightfully bad.