I read the Eragon back in high school, back around the time when the movie was coming out. I loved the book and I remember the excitement I felt about watching the movie. I remember exchanging that excitement for disappointment because the movie didn’t hold the same magic that the book did. I decided that today, I was far enough removed from the book that I would no longer hold that bias. I thought that I would be able to see the movie in a different light. I no longer hold onto that bias, but my opinion about this movie has not changed. I now understand why this movie never got any sequels, and it rightfully shouldn’t.
Eragon is a bad movie. You shouldn’t watch it, even if it is free on YouTube. Eragon is a movie that has gotten worse with age. The acting is mediocre, the CGI is ugly, and the story isn’t interesting. If you are looking for a movie with the same story done better, go watch Star Wars or How to Train Your Dragon. It is a much better use of your time.
What hurts this movie is its pacing and characters. There isn’t enough time spent on world-building or establishing Eragon as a competent hero in training. As a result, Eragon feels arrogant and whiny instead of a kid who is slowly growing to become a hero.
Take Brom’s death for example. Eragon gets a vision about saving Arya. Without discussing it with anyone, he just leaves. Brom dies saving Eragon. Brom’s death is supposed to be emotional and serve as an important moment of growth for Eragon. Instead, it is a frustrating scene because of how incompetent Eragon is as a hero. You might be able to excuse Eragon’s incompetence to the inexperience of youth, but the film doesn’t frame it as such. The whole movie doesn’t frame as anything heroic. He either wins because it’s in the script or people die because he messes up. It is difficult to care about a story where the main character is so unlikable.
I thought watching it for free would make watching this movie easier, but it didn’t. Don’t watch it, especially if you liked the book because you will be disappointed. But if you don’t believe me, you can watch it on YouTube.