Dragon Chronicles: Fire & Ice
The kingdom of Carpia is a peaceful kingdom, ruled by the benevolent King Augustin (Arnold Vosloo), in a land familiar to any with an interest in fantasy. Augustin has a daughter, Princess Luisa (Amy Acker), who decides it's much more fun to dress up as a bloke and go hunting and riding, much to the chagrin of her mother Queen Remini (Oana Pellea) who would prefer her to be a bit more ladylike and use a fork when eating a (big) chicken drumstick.
The serenity of the kingdom is shattered one day by the sudden appearance of a fire dragon, awoken from hibernation in a far off land and arriving to strike fear and death amongst the kingdom's subjects.
Augustin is at a loss when it comes to defeating dragons, but luckily neighbouring King Quilok (Ovidiu Niculescu) shows mercy and decides that he will protect Augustin's subjects if the King surrenders his kingdom to him. Quilok has a dragon egg (whose name escapes me and I can't be bothered to look it up) which protects his kingdom, so he's not that worried. Augustin's advisor Paxian Ru (Razvan Vasilescu) also thinks that this might just be a good idea.
Luckily Princess Luisa has other ideas and wanders off into the nearby woods to seek out Gabriel (Tom Wisdom) and his boffin mate Sangimel (John Rhys-Davies), well actually to find Gabriel's dad who is the only person to ever slay a dragon, but he's dead and so it's Gabriel or nothing. Hmm.
The trio decide that the only way to defeat a dragon is to get another dragon to kill it and so they hatch a plan to free an ice dragon from, where else?, the ice. The ice dragon may well be more powerful than the fire dragon according to their calculations, although this clearly leaves them with a problem in killing a dragon with a more powerful one which presumably will still be alive.
Couple of layer change issues on the disc provided to me, not a great start. The CGI is also a little mixed with the dragons looking particularly not that impressive, especially when they go on the elongated dog fight, and the less said about the ice lake that explodes to free the ice dragon…
On the other hand the distant scenery such as mountains, castles, villages, etc are more than passable.
Making Of - there's better acting in this than the film, oh wait…
This film is a Romanian production, the first I believe within this genre for the company behind it, and they got a couple of great actors in John Rhys-Davies, Arnold Vosloo and Amy Acker; just a shame the script and acting is so dire. The script is full of plot holes and terrible stilted dialogue with a rather wooden performance from main hero Tom Wisdom. Luckily for him, he's joined by a host of bad performances from just about everyone. Not even Rhy-Davies can do much with the script he's given and really glides through his bits on auto-pilot and he's clearly the best thing about this.
The dragon fights are too long and boring as they just fly around a lot, supposedly fighting but not really doing much apart from get extremely close to the main characters at certain points to put them in danger and involve them in the story. There are many more perspective errors as well, with it taking a mere five minutes for Rhys-Davies to trek into the mountains to pour some powder onto the ice lake in the same amount of time it takes Wisdom to climb to the top of a tower in Quilok's castle. Then there's the final sequence where Wisdom is seemingly miles away climbing a mountain face to a salt mine entrance whilst Fred, er…Luisa, can see him in great detail despite the camera shot showing him as a tiny speck in the distance.
At 82 minutes at least you can say that this film has no great pretensions and doesn't outstay its welcome. Could have been much better and will find a home as one of the dire movies of the week on the Sci-Fi channel…