Age Of The Dragons Review

Age Of The Dragons film still

Score

One or two laughably terrible moments, but too light on the fun factor to be properly craptastic.

We can all agree that 'Pride and Prejudice' sorely suffered from a lack of zombies. So, by that logic, we can also conclude that Herman Melville’s literary masterwork 'Moby Dick', the tale of one man’s obsession with the titular white whale, is equally harmed by its staunch disregard for supernatural fads.

Luckily, cheap ‘n’ quick director Ryan Little (Saints and Soldiers) is on hand with Age of the Dragons, which sees Ahab (Danny Glover) pursuing the Great White Dragon, with a motley crew of hunters and harpooners at his side.

Among them is our dashing protagonist, Ishmael (Corey Sevier), who dazzles all with his superb accuracy and skill, landing him a place aboard the Peaquod. However, in Little’s re-imagining, Ahab’s vessel is not an impressive whaleship, but more of a reinforced caravan, which roams snowy tundra in search of its winged prey.

Even this little tweak has massive ramifications, dissipating any claustrophobic tension as the crew are dragged along on their captain’s personal quest – but it is small fry to the unmitigated disaster that is the film as a whole.

While ropey CG monsters, half-baked stabs at drama, awkwardly-choreographed action sequences and wooden acting are all part of the fun, neither the script, nor Little’s direction revel enough in camp or B-movie thrills to give Age of the Dragons true schlock value.

Although that doesn’t seem to stop Glover, whose limping, growling, facially-scarred Ahab channels Screamin’ Jay Hawkins at his unhinged, ‘I Put A Spell On You’ peak. It’s a pantomimic performance that doesn’t so much chew scenery as obliterate it. Surprisingly, the film’s most impressive turn comes from Vinnie Jones as Stubbs, complete with pipe and tidy goatee, but his cheeky, am-dram gravitas graces only a handful of early scenes.

This pittance fails to make Age of the Dragons anything more than disposable. Expect to find it wedged among the ‘Two for £10’ DVDs in a year’s time, tantalising you with the promise of a so-bad-it’s-good quickie. But beware: here be dragons.

Anticipation

The concept elicits a double-take – 'Moby Dick'… with dragons?! – before a chuckle of disbelief.

2

Enjoyment

One or two laughably terrible moments, but too light on the fun factor to be properly craptastic.

2

In Retrospect

Entirely forgettable and somewhat unhealthy, lingering on the palate like an impulsive, Friday-night kebab.

1
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