Age of the Dragons (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Age of the Dragons (2011)

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Danny and I have different reviewing philosophies.  He is willing to turn off a film if he feels it has no merit and continuing to watch it will only further emphasize the point.  I do not want to give my opinion about a movie until I've watched the entire movie because it feels like I'm not doing the film its proper due by watching it as intended.  We could hash philosophical even further by wondering what "as intended" is, but for the purposes of this review let's keep it as start to finish.

Clear?  Ok.  I watched all of Age of the Dragons but it is the second film I've ever watched I fell asleep trying to do so.  The other movie was Last Year at Marienbad, an experience I was only able to make it through on my third attempt thanks to Danny beginning a riff-a-thon that kept me laughing and awake throughout the whole movie.  Dragons is not as lucky, it does not have any arresting images, it barely even has a change of scenery.

Acting through the image of what I think is a responsible film critic, I tried to go back to the moment I fell asleep but found it difficult to determine where my attention nodded off.  No one moment distinguished itself from the last after ten minutes into the film.  Dour characters stare gloomily into the snowy ground and talk tough while Vinnie Jones suckles on a pipe as though industrial strength turbo glue was basted on the shaft.  Wintery backgrounds give way to the same long shot of a familiar snow covered expanse and then a badly animated CGI dragon stops just long enough to taunt the players with its wing-span.What it does have is a heaping helping of Danny Glover growling through every line of dialogue as if it were improv night at the Batman Theater.  It also has a colorful opening where he recalls a memory where he stood toe to claw with a dragon while he was armed with only a knife.  It was ridiculous in a way I enjoy, but then then the snow started to fall in the present-day plot of the film and my mind splintered trying to stay coherent.

It's a energy-free zone of boredom that would be torturous if it weren't so insistent on putting you into a coma.  The film borrows freely from Moby Dick, character names and all but dialogue like "I'm Ishmael" shows it does not quite know what to keep and what to change.  My metatextual side would like to think that it's playing on the reputation of the book as being a boring slog, but the part that discerns truth just looks at the endlessly recycled backgrounds, tired-looking performers, and Celtic music straight from Target.

My optimistic spirit ends here.  Now to the sleep so ruthlessly denied by my ethical code.

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Age of the Dragons (2011)

Directed by Ryan Little.
Screenplay written by McKay Daines.
Starring Danny Glover.

Posted by Andrew

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