DRAGONHEART 3: THE SORCERER’S CURSE
Cast: Ben Kingsley, Julian Morris, Tamzin Merchant, Jonjo O’Neill
Director: Colin Teague
Written by: Matthew Feitshans
Produced By: Raffaella De Laurentiis
In Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse “tart mouthed” Gareth (Julian Morris) goes on a quest for a fallen comet full of riches to buy his way into knighthood, but finds golden eggs and the smooth-talking dragon Drago (Ben Kingsley) instead. Suddenly, Gareth is attacked by flesh-eating nomads and left for dead. Drago instinctually trusts Gareth and saves his life, literally sharing his dragon heart (Get it? Heh, heh) and creating an inseparable bond between the two. Together, they work to unite the entire land, both in the North, where an evil sorcerer named Brude (Jonjo O’Neill) wreaks havoc, and in the South where the tyrannical, poor-excuse-for-a-knight Sir Horsa (Dominic Mafham) steals from the poor. Along the way, they get help from the clumsy Druid Lorne (Jassa Ahluwalia) and the fierce warrior Rhonu (Tamzin Merchant), and Gareth learns the true meaning of what it means to be a knight.
Though the third movie in the Dragonheart series, viewers didn’t necessarily need to see the other two films in order to appreciate or understand this flick. The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action (as well as sensuality). There’s little blood, despite a lot of stabbing. The movie’s many action scenes will probably make the little ones scared, but older ones will cheer at the sword fights and magic tricks. I, however, had a harder time appreciating the action, as the cinematography during the fight sequences was very jarring. Still, I couldn’t help but admire the later shots of Romania’s vast hills and greenery. Costumes and make up were definitely on-point though, and helped me feel engulfed by the fantastical world the movie had created.
Unfortunately, I didn’t like a lot of the characters in the movie. Gareth was distractingly pretty, as well as a selfish gold-digger. (I can think of 101 reality stars I’d like to compare him to.) I think there was supposed to be character development there, but his sudden transition into a stand up guy at the end of the film just didn’t seem genuine to me. Lorne was very clearly The Comic Relief, as the bumbling friend with the lousy Druid haircut, but the clichés simply didn’t work and were way too predictable. Even the villains of the movie, Brude and Sir Horsa, were clearly cookie cutter Baddies. Just look at their names! If you thought “Drago” was an obvious name for a Dragon, calling the brooding guy “Brude” and the knight on the horse “Sir Horsa” is just poor writing.
Drago was fine, but not particularly memorable by movie dragon standards. He was neither adorable like How to Train Your Dragon’s Toothless, nor menacing like the Hobbit’s Smaug. At least he wasn’t annoying (I’m looking at you Pete’s Dragon). But then— he didn’t have time to be. I felt like he wasn’t even the central focus of the movie, simply showing up to randomly say something “wise” or to torch the bad guys when convenient. Further, Drago lacked the visual appeal of more modern cinematic dragons, and came off rather cartoony. However, due to a twist in the story line (the sorcerer’s curse, oh my!), this almost worked out in the movie’s favor. In scenes where Dragon takes on a shadowy, non-corporeal body, the creative team excels, showcasing ghostly, translucent views of Drago’s veins and bones as he glides about.
The film’s saving grace, for me, came in the form of Rhonu! I am not just saying this because GeekGirl World interviewed Tamzin Merchant recently. I’m saying it because it’s true. She was feisty and strong, but had emotions and motive. She was an actual character and not a caricature (just because they sound similar does not mean they are the same thing). The problem is, the writers almost ruined her character by throwing her into a forced romance. Why does this always happen when there is one female character? Why?! Because there’s ONE girl in the movie, she automatically has to be shoved into the arms of the dumb, macho man protagonist? No, thanks. Luckily, a line about “choice” in the movie keeps Dragonheart 3 from being added to the list of family movies that get feminism all wrong. (I feel like there’s an article brewing there. Stay tuned, GGW.)
A bonus to the Blu-Ray/DVD is a fun behind-the-scenes feature of Ben Kingsley doing voice work, called “Bringing Drago to Life.” Kingsley who can do no wrong in my eyes and I love everything he does and hang on every word he says. (I even accept his controversial role in Ironman 3, don’t hate.) In the feature, he charmingly shared with the camera how Comic Con inspired him to do voice work, and discussed the presence of chivalry, kindness, and honesty in the movie. The feature is a must watch!
To be honest, there were things I liked and other things I did not like about the movie. The end result was a simple fantasy film with a few stand out scenes, one likeable character, and Sir-Freakin’-Ben-Flippin’-Kingsley. What did you think, GeekGirl World? Have you seen this movie? Would you want to watch it? Who are your favorite movie dragons? Tell us what you think in the comments section!
“DRAGONHEART 3: THE SORCERER’S CURSE” IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD FEBRUARY 10, 2015 AND ON BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK AND DVD FEBRUARY 24, 2015 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT!
Thanks to the Sorcerer’s Curse Tumblr for providing great pictures and screen shots of the film!