AGE OF DRAGONS
Let it not be said that being a film critic is without risk. There are some films which, thanks to a preposterous premise, a weak script, hammy acting, shoddy special effects, or incompetent directing, plummet to depths of badness which see them resurface as cult-classics. Films like Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, or Tommy Wiseau’s tour de force The Room, are perfect examples of this “so-bad-it’s-good” genre.
Ryan Little’s Age of the Dragons, unfortunately, fails to succeed even at being bad enough to be perversely enjoyable, despite ticking all the boxes. A re-imagining Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, with dragons instead of whales, as its premise: tick. Clichéd and overly-expositional dialogue, embarrassing attempts at epic literary language, and dumb characterisation: tick, tick, tick. Shoddy CGI to a degree that is downright unacceptable in this day and age: tick.
The characters in this film feel as if they’re there just because you’re meant to have some of those, and while borrowing their names from the characters in Moby Dick, they bear but the faintest of resemblances to their namesakes. Danny Glover’s Ahab is just annoying and uninspiring, while Corey Sevier’s Ishmael is incredibly bland. The only likable character in the whole thing is Vinnie Jones as Stubbs (yeah, I can’t believe I just wrote that either), but the film gets rid of him pretty quickly, for no good reason. Oh, and there’s also Ishmael’s love-interest Rachel, played by Sofia Pernas, but don’t bother looking her up in the novel. Her character was created especially for this film, shoehorned into the narrative to, erm… Well, I’m not actually sure why she’s there, really…
Ultimately, the problem with Age of the Dragons is that it’s so pointless, so dull, and so humourless, that nothing is left for the audience to hold on to. Ryan Little’s direction is barely noticeable, if it is there at all. The film simply happens before your eyes, as scenes and events mechanically follow one another, dodging any of the creativity that you’d expect from a film daring to mess with Moby Dick. I would’t say it was a wasted opportunity, because the original idea for this movie was never that good to begin with, but it was most definitely a waste of nearly two hours…
Movie Rating: 1/5