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Festivale Summer 1996
(Reviews Jan, 1996)

Movie Still, Dragonheart, Festivale film reviews Dragonheart - Every Dragon has his Day

If you like Sean Connery and Dennis Quaid, you will love this film. The special effects created by Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) simply reinforce the story and make it a pleasure to see.

The time is 945AD, dragons still abound in Britain, the concept of the Knights of the Round Table and their code of honour still lives on in the hearts of a few. One of these few is the knight trying to teach the current king's son both how to fight and how to comport himself as a knight.

During a training session, both are commanded to see how the king will put down a rebellion among his people. They arrive in time to see a number of villager being slaughtered by armed soldiers. The young prince wants to go down and join the slaughter but is restrained by his trainer, at least for a short time.

The king, believing that all of the resistance is crushed moves into the thick of the villagers and is unhorsed. Once down on the ground, he is clubbed to death. His son, rushing in to remove the crown from his head, is mortally wounded by a young girl.

His mother, who still has contact with dragonkind, manages to convince a dragon to save the young prince, in the belief that he will be a good king. The dragon gives the youth half of his heart and the boy recovers. However, he does not become the good king they all hoped he would be and the knight swears vengence on all dragons.

Dragonheart poster
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While this all seems very dark, there are quite a few places where it becomes extremely humorous. The next major scene we see is Denis Quaid's character fighting with a dragon, winning and coming fact to face with a monk, who seems bent on immortalising his deed in poetry, or even heroic fable. However, when Quaid tries to collect his fee from the people he has saved from the depredations of the dragon, they send him away saying it was his duty anyway and why should they pay the agreed sum. It would appear that the young king's attitude has spread to those in power around him.

With the monk trailing, Quaid finally catches up with Draco, the dragon whose half heart is keeping the king alive, although he does not realise it at first. After a fight that has amusing consequences, at least from the point of view of the audience, the two team up, out of sight of the monk, whose last sight of Quaid is him being dragged away by the dragon.

The rest of the story needs to be seen. Believe me when I say that while the ending is predictable, the way it is reached is not. There is much soul searching done between this scene and the ending, which while predictable in one fashion, will surprise in others.

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Richard Hryckiewicz

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