Movie of the Day – Dragonheart

This is pretty much a SyFy television movie should look like.  Don’t get me wrong, I love shitty SyFy original movies, but man, Dragonheart is like the movie they should have made cause it is both ridiculous and highly enjoyable.  I remember checking out this movie in the theater when I was like 11 and to tell you the truth, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  IT HAD FUCKING DRAGONS!  I mean IT HAD A DRAGON!  Plus Quaid just chewing up the scenery and Sean Connery lending his voice talent to bring that dragon to life with a Scottish accent.  So damn awesome.

Dragonheart 1a

A boy and his dragon unite to fight evil in this fantasy. Bowen (Dennis Quaid), a Knight of The Old Code in Medieval times, is summoned by Aislinn the Queen (Julie Christie) to the bedside of her son, Einon, who is also Bowen’s student. Einon has been wounded and is near death; with his heart about to give out, Bowen calls upon Draco (voice of Sean Connery), the mightiest dragon in the land, asking for a sliver of his mighty heart so that the boy might survive. Draco makes Bowen pledge that when Enion grows to adulthood and becomes king, he will rule with fairness and compassion before the beast will donate a piece of his heart. Einon agrees to the pledge, but years later, the adult Einon (David Thewlis) has become a cruel despot, in no way good on his promises. Bowen, angry at Einon’s betrayal, is convinced that the dragon is somehow responsible and goes on a spree, killing the mammoth reptiles at a fevered pace. However, when Bowen once again encounters Draco, the dragon convinces him that a dragon-slayer who has killed the last dragon also puts himself out of a job; Draco and Bowen work out a business arrangement, where the monster “attacks” villages and Bowen is paid to “kill” him. In time, however, Draco and Bowen realize that they must set aside their lucrative business in order to challenge the authority of the evil ruler. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Let me shorthand it all for you, snot nosed kid becomes a king who has half the heart of a dragon that Draco gave to save his life for some reason.  Quaid feels betrayed that the heart ends turning the kid now king, mad with power.  Quaid kills all the dragons until he meets Draco and forms an alliance of some kind to stop the king.  That’s about it.  First here are a couple of things that bothered.  Quaid is seen walking around the country side with a shield adorned with Dragon teeth that he took from killing the dragons.  I have an issue with this since it seems that Dragons are not that cool and can easily be killed by an oafish drunk with aging sword fighting abilities.  Second issue, how come this didn’t spawn more Dragon centric movies in the mid 90s!?  I mean aside from the acting and what not, this was a fucking fun movie to watch.

Dragonheart 1b

I will admit the appeal of this movie comes from Draco and Connery’s voice talent that gives this dragon some life.  It has a personality, expressive emotions and frankly he also has some of the best dialogue in the movie.  Watching this as a kid was awesome cause I knew who was voicing Draco and it was a blast to just get absorbed in this movie.  Even today I still seem to gravitate towards pure enjoyment from Draco, while giggling and shaking my head at Quaid and his “acting”.  Quaid plays the lead Bowen, a man on a mission to first kill all the dragons and then stop the mad king, his former protege Einon played by David Thewlis.  Quaid just plays up this oaf of a man, but frankly his portrayal was cheesy and fun to watch.  Along side them is Dina Meyers who most people will remember as Diz from Starship Troopers.  She will obviously play the damsel in distress, but surprisingly she ends become a sort of women warrior, one out for revenge and clear, emotional motives.  Then there is Pete Postlethwaite (RIP) as the companion to Bowen and Draco.

Dragonheart does have a lot of heart, even if it is more carefree than serious.  I guess for this sort of movie with a talking, animated dragon you can expect to have a much more fancy free fantasy film.  This is still leaps ahead of other dragon flicks like Eragon or whatever that horrible movie was.  Dragonheart managed to combine some entertaining buddy moments between Bowen and Draco, with some impressive visuals that were ahead of its time.  The facial expressions of Draco are really stunning consider the time and it even still has a nostalgic ring to me, but age does wear on it though making it seem out of place.  I mean it was made in 1996 so technology has leaped astronomically.  It’s a fun fantasy flick, not requiring a lot of involvement other than paying attention to the story and just enjoying Quaid and Connery together on screen.  There are some good action sequences, albeit brief, but you really see this for the dragon Draco.  Can’t miss.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

4 Responses to Movie of the Day – Dragonheart

  1. I remember watching this a kid; enjoyable stuff. I cried at the ending, and all.

    It’s just a shame the sequel was so awful.

  2. One of those films that’s a lot more enjoyable than it has any right to be. On any objective level, it’s not particularly well done, but it’s still a lot of fun to watch. Nice review, Nick.

    • Nick says:

      Thank you for the comment, sorry for the delay in this reply. I was thrilled to see this when I was young and I still like watching this movie a lot.

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