on May 31, 1996 by Kim Williamson
   The boxoffice cloud over the Quaid and De Laurentiis names continues with this misfired fantasy about a knight errant, Bowen (Dennis Quaid), who befriends the world's last dragon, which he names Draco (voiced by Sean Connery). Once a favorite of the castle, where he schooled the king's son (Lee Oakes) in not only weaponry but also "The Old Code" valor, virtue, truth Bowen now travels the land, a dispirited man, teaming with the dragon to defraud villagers. The reason for his dispiritedness: the boy he had helped raise has, now grown and the new king ("Black Beauty's" David Thewlis), forsaken The Old Code, choosing to exploit his subjects even more meanly than did his father. Ultimately, Bowen gathers himself and his people to do battle against the evil lord.
The problem is, "Dragonheart" wants to be all things to all people. For the kids, it's a Muppet-like effort; for the teens, it's a Lancelot-level actioner; for the adults, it's a life parable. Like matter and antimatter, the movie's elements cancel each other out. Quaid brings the proper swordly dash to his role, but having a dragon speak like Sean Connery never gels. The effects are fine, but to no narrative purpose. All in all, "Dragonheart" is as much a staggering disappointment from director Rob Cohen as his first film, "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story," was an astonishing surprise. Starring Dennis Quaid, David Thewlis and Dina Meyer. Voice by Sean Connery. Directed by Rob Cohen. Written by Charles Edward Pogue. Produced by Raffaella De Laurentiis. A Universal release. Fantasy. Rated PG-13 for action/violence. Running time: 103 min
Tags: fantasy, dragon, friendship, medieval, period, Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, David Thewlis, Dina Meyer, Rob Cohen, Charles Edward Pogue, Raffaella De Laurentiis

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