Apr 8, 2009
Eragon (2006) (part 10 of 13)
Arya instantly recovers from her paralysis, and Brom sits up and pulls the spear out of himself. Boy, he’s one tough cookie. He tells Eragon to make a break for it, but even now Eragon refuses to listen, and insists on taking him along. Why, Ergy, I never knew you cared!
He pulls Brom to his feet, and he and Arya run out of there with him. They run into a group of Imperial soldiers—hey, glad you guys could finally make it! Eragon starts firing arrows at them. Wow, he’s such a good shot that he can kill a guy wearing full plate armour with a single arrow. And no, he’s not using a crossbow with armour-piercing bolts. He’s using an ordinary bow and arrow, the same kind he used for hunting deer. This movie really keeps the stupidity coming thick and fast, doesn’t it?
Just then, the roof breaks open and Saphira shows up. Nice timing, idiot. Here she finally does something other than just hang around, and starts killing soldiers. Of course, in the book she never does anything like this. She spends, literally, the entire novel doing sweet FA. The book goes on and on about how big and strong she is, but when danger threatens, guess who’s conveniently not there, or somehow incapable of doing a damn thing? That’s right, Saphira—the most useless dragon in the history of fantasy. Even Drake from Dragonheart II had more spunk than this. Fuck it, even Puff the Magic Dragon was more badass.
Eragon yells to her, asking if she can carry three people. She says she can, but not for long. He and Arya bundle Brom onto her back, while Eragon fights the soldiers with Brom’s red sword Zar’roc, which he suddenly knows how to handle after one lesson which lasted all of five minutes. Hey, how hard could it be?
The article continues after these advertisements...
But then he looks behind him—I have no idea what prompts him to do this—and sees the black-clad figure who was following him earlier. It appears he’s currently aiming an arrow at our hero, but Eragon just stands there, frozen in bad acting. Shock of shocks, the guy actually shoots a soldier who’s coming up behind Eragon. I think that makes the fortieth time I’ve seen this “surprise” used in a movie.
Eragon gawps at the guy, who pulls back his hood, and, yep, it’s Garrett Hedlund again. He yells—using a very strange voice—that Eragon had better leave quickly, and then starts shooting more soldiers. Eragon quickly gets on Saphira’s back with Arya, and they make their getaway.
Unfortunately, Wimphira doesn’t get them very far, because she’s a fricking dragon the size of a airplane who can’t carry three people. So they end up hiding out in the wilderness. Arya (now wearing a hood she got from who-knows-where) is tending to the dying Brom.
Brom tells our hero that Durza isn’t dead, and can only be killed if he’s pierced through the heart. So apparently, he’s a vampire. Or something. Eragon “tearfully” says that they have to get help, namely from the Varden, and Brom agrees. He gives him Zar’roc and tells him to go, and leave him behind. Brom, man, the kid’s never listened to you before. Why the hell do you expect him to start now?
Eragon, predictably, answers with, “No! I need you!” There’s nothing homoerotic about that line at all.
“No,” Brom replies. “It is I who has always needed you.”
Hold on a moment, please.
Okay, I’m done bashing my head on the wall now. Back to the movie.
“You gave me my life back again,” Brom continues.
Okay, now I feel dizzy.
Brom advises Eragon to take care of Saphira because “without her, you’ll find life is hardly worth living.” Yeah, he’ll really miss having someone around to bully. Gods, Brom, I know you’re dying, but did you really have to turn all pathetic on us? This kid just got you killed! He didn’t give you your life back, it’s his fault you’re dying!
Eragon immediately proclaims that he won’t let Brom die because of his mistake. Wait, he made a mistake? No way! Jeremy Irons does this thing which I think is supposed to indicate horrible suffering, but instead looks like he’s fighting the urge to punch him in the face.
Now Eragon suddenly knows another spell without having been taught it: namely, the healing spell (it’s “waíse heill”), and he tries it on Brom. It doesn’t work, because according to Arya, he isn’t strong enough. You can almost hear him thinking: “No! I’m the Gary Stu! I can’t fail at anything!” Yeah, I know, but when the plot calls for it, even being a Gary Stu isn’t enough to prevent pointless angst. Tough break, kid.
Brom gives him a resigned look, and repeats the line about how he’s “one part brave, three parts fool,” and it’s still not cute or inspiring or memorable. Eragon asks for forgiveness, but Brom doesn’t reply. That’s right, Ergy—he’s giving you the silent treatment now. Hah!
Saphira breaks in, saying that Brom shouldn’t die on the ground, but deserves to die like a rider, flying on her back. So we see her flying around, and Brom is somehow staying on her back, even though he’s dying and can’t hold on. Then he dies, and I really wish that could have been in a better movie.
Next day, Arya and Saphira look on while Eragon builds a cairn over Brom’s last resting place. Saphira says that she can’t breathe fire yet but “can do this for Brom.” What would “this” be? Well, she breathes a sort of mist over the heap of rocks, which morph into a weird (and extremely fake) crystal thingy, through which we can see Brom’s body lying there. And no, there’s no explanation given as to how Saphira can do this. She just can. It happened in the book too, and there we learned that dragons have magic, but can’t control it. In other words, it just comes along when it’s useful. And that’s not at all a Deus Ex Machina (as if this crap needed any more of those). And you’ve got to wonder what the point is in having a fancy crystal tomb, especially out here in the middle of frigging nowhere.
Eragon wonders how anyone will remember Brom. Arya, apparently realizing he hasn’t had his daily ego boost yet, says they will “because of you.” And from the way she’s looking at him, it’s very, very obvious that she’s attracted to him. Gee, could this be the girl Angela prophesised about before? I mean, it’s not like she’s got “obvious love interest” stamped on her damn forehead, or anything.
(The book, by the way, was extremely creepy about the Eragon/Arya thing. There, when he rescues her, she’s unconscious and remains that way for most of the book. He takes off her shirt to check out her injuries, and finds her covered in burns and bruises and things. But while he’s healing these injuries—and it’s not implied, but very obvious—he gets turned on and starts thinking about how hot she is. Can you say “extremely wrong, and not at all romantic”? And I could go on about the unappealing turn these shenanigans take in the sequel, but I just realised that I don’t care.)
After a pointless rotating aerial shot of our “heroes”, we cut to later on. They’re walking through a forest, leading the horses to nowhere in particular. Suddenly, we cut to Durza standing… somewhere, by a fire, up to no good once again. A drop of black liquid falls from the tip of his press-on nail (man, this nail is even more evil than the one Gene Simmons wore in Never Too Young to Die). He smirks as the fire flares up. Oh, Durza. Don’t you ever change.
Back in the forest, Arya suddenly falters and collapses, whereupon Saphira instantly announces that “the Shade has poisoned her.” And don’t ask me how she knows that. She just does.
Saphira says that someone is coming, and hurries off while Eragon tends to Arya. He pulls open her shirt (ew ew ew ew) while she thrashes around gasping and… well… you can only see their heads and shoulders in this shot, and Eragon is kind of on top of her, so… oh man, I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Eragon finds a very unpleasant-looking black mark on her chest, right about the spot where Durza poked her with the evil press-on earlier. He urgently asks her how to get to the Varden so they can help her. So she touches him on the forehead and immediately implants a mental map in his brain. Once again, there’s no explanation for this. She just randomly has magical powers sometimes. This done, she passes out. And by the way, if she’s that powerful, how come she didn’t try and heal Brom? Meh. Actually, he’s much better off dead than wasting his time with these idiots.
About half a second later, a guy falls out of the sky and lands behind Eragon. It’s the black-clad dude from Gil’ead, and it turns out Saphira caught him and dumped him here. He lies there on the ground, laughing like a maniac, and Saphira arrives and says he’s been following them. Yeah, I sort of gathered. Eragon demands to know who the laughing fool is, and why he’s following them.
“I’m Murtagh,” the guy answers, and now he’s got a weird accent that could be either Irish or Scottish. Ah, Murtagh. The character who makes every fangirl simply melt in her drawers. And I can’t lie: I find him pretty hot, too.
Basically, he’s emo. He’s clad entirely in black, has a pale face, and black hair in something awfully close to an emo fringe. And we’ll find out later that he has an awesome scar. The best thing about Murtagh, though, is that he (both the character and the actor) clearly knows what a stupid movie he’s in, and accordingly acts like he’s having the time of his life. Garrett Hedlund overacts a fair bit, but you can tell he’s loving every minute of it.
Murtagh says Eragon needs him (boy, does he ever), but Eragon snottily replies that he’ll be fine on his own. Murtagh claims he knows the mountains, and can get them where they want to go with speed, adding rather slyly that Arya will suffer more if they get lost. Eragon wants to know why he’s been helping them, and he answers that the King’s men slaughtered his family when he was a boy. Apparently, he’s heard rumours of a new rider, and set out to find him.
Wow, rumours already? Eragon’s been on the loose for all of, what, two days so far? That’s pretty speedy news for a world without television or the Internet or anything.
Saphira interrupts, saying they’ve got to go, and Murtagh adds that this is the “time for retribution”. Hey, you don’t think he’s hiding a really shocking secret, do you?
Eragon cautiously says that he’s heading for the Varden, and Murtagh immediately sets out to show them the way. Er, doesn’t Eragon already know the way? Isn’t that why Arya implanted a map in his mind? Well, maybe Murtagh can help clarify things a little. After all, that map flew past pretty quickly.
“You’ll learn to trust me, dragon rider,” he says. Saphira starts snarling at him, and Eragon smarmily says, “I’m not the only one you need to convince.”
Now comes another travelling montage. Hey, there’s that Matte Painting Mountain from the beginning of the movie! Er, you’ve probably already forgotten about it, so don’t worry about it.
They stop suddenly, and Murtagh announces that they’re going to have to leave the horses. What? Are you nuts? Do you have any idea how much a horse that teleports and can be carried in your pocket actually costs? Man, these guys are clueless.