Age Of The Dragons

Age Of The Dragons


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

There is some truth in advertising - Age Of The Dragons does drag on for an age. It's a shame, really, because the idea behind it - to rework Herman Melville's Moby Dick in a mythological dragon realm - isn't all that bad. The end result, however, most certainly is. Dragons have never been so dull.

Danny Glover speaks as though his vocal chords have been burned away by an early encounter with his white dragon nemesis, adopting the 'shouty whisper' approach (TM Christian Bale) and acting his damaged Captain Ahab so broadly it's a wonder someone didn't call the panto police. He has travelled a lifetime on the Pequod - here no longer a ship on water but a laughably Terry-Gilliam light land-bound contraption that travels through means unknown across the icy wastes while the crew, in a bizarre move, spend most of their time walking beside it. Ahab's crew are few in number, but include the sort of pretty, skinny folk who look about as at home here as a fish would on a sunbed and one or two 'swarthy' types to make up the numbers.

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Although ostensibly hunting for precious vitriol - extracted from slain dragons and highly prized in the world beyond the Pequod - Ahab's real intention is to find the great white dragon that slew his sister and he doesn't care how he achieves this end. The entire enterprise lacks any sort of tension and attempts to inject shades of Xena: Warrior Princess, with the inclusion of Sofia Pernas as the finely honed and feisty adopted daughter of Ahab, fall flat. The action scenes are too infrequent and badly handled while the scripting, of which there is far too much, is woeful. Director Ryan Little also seems to be labouring under the impression that slow motion equals emotion, when all his snail's pace at key moments achieves is an accentuation of boredom. The CGI, though not the worst culprit here, is cut-price at best, while the acting flies in face of the trades descriptions act.

In fact, the only person who comes away unscathed from this mythological mess is, surprisingly, Vinnie Jones. The ex-footballer, playing the Peaquod's harpooner Mr Stubbs, adds some much-needed gravitas to proceedings and is sorely missed after his brief stint in the film is over. Destined for bargain bin obscurity, the only amazing thing about it is that it has managed to get a cinematic release.

Reviewed on: 05 Mar 2011
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Dragon-based reworking of Herman Melville's Moby Dick.
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Director: Ryan Little

Writer: Gil Aglaure, Anne K. Black, McKay Daines

Starring: Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones, Corey Sevier, Sofia Pernas, Larry Bagby, Kepa Kruse, David Morgan

Year: 2011

Runtime: 130 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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