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Dragons from the and the World

Name: Dragonheart - A New Beginning
Production: Universal Studios
Director: Doug Lefler
Theatrical Release Date: Direct to video release
DVD Release Date: August 8, 2000
Genre: Adventure
Rated: PG
Running time: 85 minutes

Dragon Contents:
This rating only indicates the dragon contents and importance they play in the movie/game/episodes reviewed.

R a t i n g :
This rating indicates how good or how bad was the movie/game/episodes reviewed. A rating of 5 stars on 10 is considered as the average which mean it is not good but not bad either.

Reviewed by Tempest
No alternate review available

Let face it, when a movie was successful and the producers are making a sequel, they must face the fact that their movie will be compared to the first one. Usually, with some skills a sequel can be quite interesting but sometime they just screw up. Drake from the Dragonheart - A New Beginning movie simply do not reach the same nobility Draco inspired and the bathroom humor will most likely make some wonder about what the writers were thinking. The film was definitely made for a younger audience, but do not carry the magic and fun of the first one...


Story line:
The movie storyline is more complicated than it appears, and I was quite impressed at some moment. Draco apparently left a egg in his lair, which is a subtle reference to the first movie when Draco tell Bowen that he has killed his mate. The egg for an obscure reason is taken into a monastery and hidden there for several years until a stable boy at a monastery find out about his existence. Draco child is called Drake and for a dragon he is the pinnacle of naivete.

Problems arise when the King falls under the spell of his adviser (Osrick). The dragon existence is eventually revealed to the townfolks and our stable boy is assigned to be the dragon squire (just a notch below knighthood). From this point, you will simply notice how much Geoffrey (the stable boy) care only about his own achievement. He will be under the wings of the adviser that will devise a plan to receive Drake heart. However, the writers of the movie fail to portrait the adviser as an evil guys. If somehow he manage to gain access to ultimate power, the story do not hint that it would be a bad thing and actually, in the end, his speech remain extremely coherent; not the speech of some demented madman or cunning evil overlord...

A terrible point in the story is the multiple "Hercules" style fight (the series with Kevin Sorbo playing as Hercules). You know, bloodless and lot of kicking and punching on the bad guys while those who fight around with sharp swords end up in losing their weapon and fighting bare handed. This alone make the fights look fake, I guess there is a middle between this and Braveheart but just blood stained cloth would have been a lot better. This is important because in the movie, there is one bogus battle but since every battle look fake, we are not able to foresee what is happening.

Another problem is the climax. The climax is where a movie come to the pinnacle of it intensity where either the good guys run out of options or the evil overlord get very (too) close to his ultimate goal. In this movie, there is basically no climax, the movie fail to make us believe that the adviser would spread a new era of terror if he were allowed to have a dragon's heart. Sure he would seem to enjoy his new position, but doesn't he already enjoy the position of being the ultimate rule (since he is literally controlling the King mind making him behave like a 6 years old kid with absolutely no resistance toward whatever the adviser is doing). So what would be the difference? Instead of using the king's army to do every of his biding, he could do it himself. It become even less scary if you know that he's planning to kept himself in power by imposing the old code to everyone (remember that the old code states someone should be good, nice, etc). The logic behind this is if everyone is bound to keep his or her promise and tell the truth, and you are not, you will stay in power because of your unfair advantage. This is a clever part of the movie; dragons were annihilated because they followed a code to protect humankind and thus bounding humans to follow the old code is bound to be a cunning revenge... Despite this, it would simply make Osrick looks like a benevolent dictator (that probably the best ruler the people could hope for back in the medieval age).

SPOILER... Well sort of...
(select the text with your mouse to read it)
At some point near the end of the movie Drake will have to choose between is "friend" (Geoffrey) or to follow the Osrick the adviser, which is actually a dragon. Remember when I said that Geoffrey was only interested in his own career in knighthood, that both of them meet only a few days ago and that Geoffrey replied "Of course I want to be a knight" when asked by Drake:"Do you want to become like those knight?" while looking at the tales of dragonslayers (St-George, Beowulf, etc). In the end, there is no reason for Drake to consider Geoffrey as his brother, and fight the other dragon. At least, not in such emotive way like they have done.


Images:
At first, Drake looks rather odd, but you will get used to it. In general, there is no period armor such as real chainmail or plate and all the soldiers seem to be wearing padding with a few ring attached to it. Despite this, the costumes and the scenes were appropriate for a medieval setting.


Sound & Music
It is says that if you do not remember the music, it is because it was appropriate. So I guess it was. In fact, while paying attention to the music, I realize it was not anything exceptional and fine most of the time. On the other hand, the music used in the combats occasionally do not carry the feeling of pressure or tension. There is not problem either with the dialogue which is always clear and easily understood but it is still pale in comparison to the first movie.


Acting
Drake acting, even if he is a computer-animated actor, was nothing to be praised. All the bathroom humor he has done would make him an embarrassment to the dragon race. The other players in this movie are more convincing, though except for the main characters everyone else rarely says or do anything.


R a t i n g
Images:(7.5/10) - Good
Sound & Music:(6.0/10) - Average
Story line:(4.0/10) - Shoddy
Acting:(5.0/10) - Fair
Innovation:(6.0/10) - Average
Educational Value or
Level of Wisdom:
(6.0/10) - Average
Overall:(5.5/10) - Fair
Note: the overall is not an average, but more a general appreciation of the movie as a whole.
A rating of 5/10 should be considered as something not good but not bad either (# bad points = # good points).