Eragon (PG) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The whole point of fantasy, you would have thought, was to let your imagination run free, to come up with something unfamiliar and strange. But there is hardly a character, an incident or an idea in this boring dragon saga that you can't trace directly to some other source: Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy - after a while, counting the influences is the only way of staying awake. Ed Speleers is gauche as the young farm boy who discovers that he is the last of the dragon riders; Jeremy Irons is weary and out of place as the Obi-Wan Kenobi figure who must teach him to use his new-found powers; John Malkovich is feeble as the tyrant they must overthrow; Sienna Guillory is worryingly gaunt as a rebel princess; and the CGI dragon isn't a patch on the Harry Potter hippogriff. What with dragon-eyed boys, demonically possessed sorcerers and dead-eyed orc-type warriors, it's a bonanza for the tinted contact lens industry.