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In a time of darkness, under the evil reign of John Malkovich — who sits upon a throne in a different sound stage from all the other cast members — a hero shall rise. But lo, there will be little rejoicing, for this farmer turned dragon-rider named Eragon is but a pretty boy (newcomer Ed Speleers), somehow in possession of the only soap and clean clothes in all the land. And then shall cometh a big blue CGI dragon, voiced by Rachel Weisz and far lamer — physically and stylistically — than Sean Connery's beast from 1996's Dragonheart. Wuss dragon shall be the sole focus of all in Stefen Fangmeier's lame fantasy world, as its mighty pixels emote more effectively than Djimon Hounsou in a bad wig or King Malkovich's army of evil balding fat men. As Eragon tries to save his home from the power-mad king, much wailing and gnashing of teeth ensue, especially in the scenes when singer Joss Stone plays a fortunetelling gypsy, and even more so when songbirds Avril Lavigne and Jem foist themselves unto the soundtrack. — Luke Y. Thompson

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