DragonHeart (1996) / Fantasy-Adventure
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for action/violence
Running Time: 103 min.
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery (voice), Dina Meyer, David Thewlis, Pete Postlethwaite
Director: Rob Cohen
Screenplay: Charles Edward Pogue
Review published October 29, 1998
In the 10th century, a young king is wounded and a dragon donates half his heart to save him. The king becomes a tyrant, causing much misery upon his subjects. Years later, a noted dragon-killer named Bowen (Quaid, Innerspace) has helped to rid the entire world of dragons, save one. Of course this is the dragon that has donated his heart and who Bowen holds responsible for the misery of the people. The dragon and hunter keep fighting to a draw with each other then develop a pact with each other to recreate Bowen slaying Draco (voiced by Connery, Highlander II) -- the dragon adopts this name -- and swindling money from the people for protection. Soon, they befriend a young peasant woman who's father is viciously slain by the king, and who the king wants to have relations with at any cost. Now Draco and Bowen must join forces once again to put an end to the king's villainous ways.
A disturbingly violent children's film which has little going for it save some wonderful special effects. The sets and costumes look phony, the script is derivative to the extreme, and the actors are unappealing and awful. Dennis Quaid is long past being able to carry a film like this, and does a poor job keeping the inflections and accents, at times sounding like a Southern hick and at others like a gravely Randy "Macho Man" Savage.
It's dull, contrived, hokey, and crude. What should have been a moving, emotional ending ends up fizzling due to overblown characters and poor plotting. Fittingly enough its title seems to have been derived from the two films it rips off repeatedly, Dragonslayer and Braveheart. Kids will find it too ugly and violent while adults will think it a trite crock of cornball schmaltz. Such a waste of a good film dragon.
©1997 Vince Leo