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Lord of the Rings wanna-be
By TOM MEEK  |  December 20, 2006
1.5 1.5 Stars

“Into the sky to win or die,” proclaims an elfin-faced boy as he mounts a dragon to do battle against the forces of a tyrannical king. It’s just one of many dippy lines in this Lord of the Rings wanna-be based on (then) 17-year-old author Christopher Paolini’s bestseller. Little in this Middle-earth-esque world is original, right down to the evil minions called urgals — in essence more human-looking orcs. The young stars, Edward Speleers as the dragon rider of the title and Sienna Guillory as his love interest, are shot by director Stefen Fangmeier as if they were mediæval Abercrombie & Fitch models. Talented actors including Djimon Hounsou as a rebel leader and Rachel Weisz as the voice of the dragon get sucked into the mire; John Malkovich as the nefarious overlord doesn’t even try. Jeremy Irons and Robert Carlyle provide the only semblance of enchantment as dragon master Brom and impish sorcerer Durza.

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