So all you need to know about my adventure in seeing Eragon was that I fell on the way to the theatre, ripping my favorite pair of jeans, scuffing my favorite boots and skinning my knees in the process. And that's it.
Oh, you wanted to know about the movie. My bad. It's just that... It's really hard to... It's not that good. There I said it. Look, I'm not proud of it either. I know I hyped this one up, and therefore I made my expectations high, so its my own fault. I'm just not very happy with it. The casting is great. Jeremy Irons did better than I expected, especially given the material he had to work with, Rachel Weisz voicing Saphira was an especially nice touch and dear Jesus did Bigby just chew through as much scenery as he possibly could. The problem was very much not the actors but the script.
Look, I understand that the book is freaking huge. I poured over it. I have an estimation as
to how much ground they had to cover, but I was reasonably assured that they could cover such ground. Yes there, would have to be holes and many things left unsaid, but the important things could still be covered, but they weren't. And in some instances, things were brought up, but never explained fully. A lot of exposition was put out there, but it wasn't given the breadth and width the book gave it. Show, don't tell is what I'm saying. Don't get all expositiony about magic, and the words used to evoke it, unless you show more of it. Give me a two minute montage of him fighting and training and using magic with Brom, and I've got it. Don't say a bunch of crap about it, and then just glaze over it. That's cheap.
And don't introduce characters and then give them no context or texture for why they are introduced. Like the introduction of Murtagh. Fighting Nun was like "What was that all about? Hi I'm Murtagh. I'm weird and helping you escape." and I had to be all "Well, they had to introduce him, because he was really important, and is really important to the second book, oops I've said too much." And yeah, he is a key character, but the way in which he's introduced and dealt with throughout the rest of the movie makes him feel so one note. And Angela, good lord in heaven was that ever done wrong. First off, the book made her out to be less of a young mystic and more of an older wisened sage, so that was miscasting right there, secondly, her cat, lynx, whatever they heck it was, was never shown, and he had some integral things to add to the story, namely that Eragon could make thought connections to other animals, not just his dragon. But this was another way in which they dangle an important character/plot point in your face only to rip it away just as suddenly. If you're going to make mention of his future, go all the way with it, don't wuss out!
And then we have the whole deal with the Vardan. I thought"they've got to spend some time there. Eragon's got more training to complete, the twins to deal with (and the twins were never introduced, which I guess I should count my blessings there, seeing as how that would've been another thing they botched up), and *spoiler alert for those of you who haven't read the second book* a baby to bless. Surely some of that has to be covered." But no, they just went straight to the effing battle. And I guess I can forgive that if the battle scene was really good, but... it wasn't. It was o.k., but it all felt rushed to get straight to the battle with the shade, and that itself felt rushed. The way that battle took place was in and of itself totally wrong. And plus *another spoiler alert*, bitch better get cut by the shade's blade. It is important!!! But no, that's just another thing they didn't touch on. Grrr!
My main problem with the movie adaptation is that Paolini crafted a very lavish, expansive story that I thought was made for the big screen, and the way this movie approached the material made it feel as if that expansiveness, the feeling Paolini captured so well in the book, wasn't worth trying to capture on film. Overall, I give it a B-, more like a C+. It pains me to do so, given the high hopes I had for it, but that's all it deserves.