Age of the Dragons (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner04/03/2011

One out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Dreadful Moby Dick adaptation that squanders its perfectly decent set-up and is further let down by a terrible script, atrocious acting, poor action sequences and some extremely dodgy special effects.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ryan Little, Age of the Dragons is a fantasy adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, with a Great White Dragon instead of a Great White Whale. Corey Sevier stars as shipmate-for-hire Ishmael (“You can call me that”), who, along with his silent-but-deadly friend Queequeg (Kepa Kruse), signs up for a spot of dragon-hunting aboard the Pequod, helmed by fiery Captain Ahab (Danny Glover), who's obsessed with catching the Great White Dragon that killed his sister and left him half-blind.

The crew includes Ahab's smoking-hot adopted daughter Rachel (Sofia Pernas) as well as an assortment of thugs that include impulsive Stubbs (Vinnie Jones), fiercely loyal Starbuck (David Morgan) and rapey Flask (Larry Bagby). As the voyage continues, Ishmael finds himself falling for Rachel, but is Ahab's obsessive quest driving them all to their doom?

The Bad
The acting is atrocious: pretty-boy Sevier is utterly bland and forgettable, while Megan Foxalike Sofia Pernas looks like she's just stepped out of model shoot, an appearance that seems a little incongruous for the grizzled crew of a battleship on wheels. Meanwhile Glover goes wildly over the top (even in the context of Ahab's madness) with a shouty performance that would shame Shouty Al (Pacino) himself; it also doesn't help that the rest of the supporting cast have been instructed to play it as straight as possible.

The concept of Moby Dick with dragons is an appealing idea but badly let down by a below-par script. By the same token, the dialogue never sparks to life and the film is crushingly dull for long stretches at a time.

The Worse
The action sequences are poorly handled throughout and the whole enterprise has a palpable straight-to-DVD feel to it. In addition, the CGI effects are so cheap looking that to say they resemble computer game graphics would be an insult to computer games.

As if that wasn't bad enough, there are several truly terrible moments, the worst of which is an attempted rape scene that's so badly shot and edited that it's actually laughable.

Worth seeing?
Basically, you know you're in trouble when Vinnie Jones is the best thing in your film. As depressingly disappointing dragon movies go, Age of the Dragons is right up there with Reign of Fire. Avoid.

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Content updated: 18/11/2017 14:10

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