Reviewed by: Dawn Cole
This special effects Medieval adventure is set in the 10th century. Dennis Quaid stars as Bowen, a chivalrous knight whose heart is set on living according to the “Code” set by King Arthur. He is training King Einon to be such a knight as he. King Einon is mortally wounded and then taken to a dragon for healing. The dragon gives King Einon a part of his heart, after Einon swears to become a good ruler. Needless to say Einon goes back on his word and is as ruthless as ever. Bowen is disheartened and feels embittered toward the dragon that saved Einon’s life. The Knight becomes a dragon slayer to hopefully get his revenge on the dragon that saved Einon’s life, however, Bowen is not paid for his dragon slaying as previously agreed by King Einon’s men.
The very last dragon is found by Bowen, and after a mighty struggle the two become pals. They team up and deceive the kings men and peasants in the area by staging the dragon’s death over and over for a bag of gold, paid in advance. (Hmmmm what happened to that code of honor??) Bowen names the dragon Draco (who has the voice and mannerisms of Sean Connery). Bowen and Draco tire of seeing the peasants assaulted by the powerful and wicked King Einon. They talk the peasants into a revolt against the king, and Bowen trains them in the skills of combat. The battle scenes are long and bloody. As the king is shot in the heart, the dragon falls out in the sky, showing that the two are entwined by sharing a heart. The dragon is captured, and Bowen realizes that to rid himself of the evil king, he must also destroy his beloved friend the dragon.
Several bloody battle scenes are shown with the peasants yielding axes, arrows, and swords, doing the kings knights in. One particularly offensive scene shows the priest quoting the 10 Commandments' “Thou shalt not kill,” as he releases an arrow intending to kill King Einon. In another violent scene a beautiful maiden is almost raped. To top it off the king kills his own mother by stabbing her to death in the shadows. God’s name is used in vain a few times.
This film was given a relatively high Moviemaking Quality rating due to the Academy Award-winning visual effects team (headed by Scott Squires, Industrial Light and Magic) that made Draco seem very believably alive. This is the same team of specialists that made the dinosaurs in “Jurrasic Park” come to life.
I gave “Dragonheart” a low Christian Rating, however, mostly because of the violence described above. The priest’s character seemed to be somewhat of a mockery of Christianity; he was portrayed as a silly poet that really didn’t have much use, except for an ability to shoot arrows as straight as Robin Hood. The language was offensive—using God’s name in vain. The whole plot had a non-Christian-like attitude that promoted the use of violence to resolve conflict.