Talk about a lifeless adaptation… While not aware of the games, I have watched a few videos about them and they are quite close to a standard D&D campaign, full of knights, wizards, elves, and of course dragons. It felt quite typical but it surely wasn’t as blunt as this movie. There is simply very little going on and are presented in the most simple way possible. Every single event and character in it are closer to a fairy tale than a dark sword and sorcery adventure, so it fails to be attractive in both sides of the spectrum. Too violent for kids and too dumb for teenagers.
So, the plot is about evil mages using an elf girl to order dragons to attack the main temple of their mortal enemies. The champions of the temple find out about this in time and attack while performing the ritual, seemingly preventing the invasion. But turns out there are traitors amongst them who try to frame the champions and resume the ritual. Hm, ok, nothing much.
It sounds and plays out like a typical Hollywood action flick, and in all honesty it would better off being made there instead of Japan. The budget is quite poor and everything is animated with low resolution that makes it look like a cut scene from a mediocre videogame. Don’t let the cover picture fool you; the actual animation in it is quite simple and usually crude. The armours and the monsters look nice but the faces of the characters and their motions are just very fake-looking. Plus most backgrounds are hardly detailed. The explosions and the debris were awesome.
Despite being animated in a three-dimensional way, the characters are all one-dimensional. You have this Saturday-morning cartoon villain mage, who is the leader only because he is the only one who can transform to a bird and escape while everybody else in his team is killed. You have this chick paladin (named Seeker in this setting) that runs around and kills stuff because she is pissed. You have this good mage tagging along as a comic relief. You have a cute elf girl which… um, doesn’t do anything other that spacing out. And you have a bunch of other cardboards that don’t even have a face if they are not important to the plot. Nobody seems to be anything beyond what he looks and any attempts to flesh them out by giving them a tragic past or making them traitors blinded on power later on doesn’t help one bit to make them more interesting. All because of the following reason.
The script is written by a five year old, as everything happens in a most unrealistic and yet obvious way. The lead chick is like Super Girl, as she is able to take out hordes of mages and demons, while everybody else has a hard time not being stabbed by a nobody after a few sword swings. She even casually escapes perils, while wearing a mini skirt and her companion the mage is constantly able to have spies all over the place so to conveniently tell them what they need to know. Weird how everybody in the kingdom seems to know of the conspiracy. Everyone besides the elites in the temple, that is. And how nice of them to be talking about it so casually, as if it’s not important at all. Anyways, the whole story is basically the chick killing stuff, them someone giving her a hint, then she keeps killing more until another one starts to reveal stuff. In effect, the main characters in this movie do nothing but fighting and let NPCs to tell them everything, a thing which ruins any real tension since they don’t really figure out anything on their own. So basically you get this movie where the bad guys want to rule the world JUST BECAUSE and the heroine fights them because they killed her family and friends. All the rest are nothing but ephemeral dressing.
So now you may be wondering if at least the action is worth to bother. And sadly, not even that means much. It’s not just the crude visuals, but also how most of the battle choreography is just random slashes and unimpressive fire attacks. Hell, there is blood spilling all over the place and yet it washes off like it’s nothing but tomato juice. I also never understood why everybody walks around in impractical huge armours that don’t protect you by even a knife stab. There are lots of huge monsters in it too but they are all casually killed by simply jumping on them and stabbing them in the neck with a short sword. And I love how the corpses magically disappear after the battle or how a whole army is watching from a high place yet never seems to notice a battle taking place a few meters below them, or dragons the size of a tower coming towards them until they are right next to them.
It’s a completely lazily made film that will leave the action lovers indifferent and most likely make the fans of the games to once again never wish for anything they like to be adapted.
This movie is to Dragon Age as Attack of the Clones is to Emprie Strikes Back.
The animation is shoddy, low quality CGI - the could have gotten better graphics by filming a playthrough of Dragon Age Origins.
The characters are incredibly bland - even Cassandra, who doesn't have the best-written personality in the games, feels like a cardboard cutout impersonating the real thing.
The writing is the most generic script I've seen - even a child could figure out the entirety of the plot within the first fifteen minutes (which makes said child smarter than the characters. "The villains want this girl who can mind control animals. The villains have a dragon. I wonder what they plan to use the girl to do?"). It's like they copy-pasted from a "how to write movies" guide for children. The actual dialog plays like a cliche checklist. "Sometimes a sword becomes a shield and a shield becomes a sword." "Hate only brings more hate." etc, etc.
As for the voices - I get that doing accents is hard. But I think most average people could fake accents better than some of these actors. Even J. Michael Tatum, who I honestly consider the god of voice acting, put out what is at best a mediocre performance (which is still miles better than any of the other actors).
And a tip for the animators: Blood is not pudding. It does not fly through the air in a solid mass, and running directly through it will not leave your armor pristine.
Well this is my first review on Anime Planet. I am a fan of the games, but this movie was horrible....thats all xD.