Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Popcorn & Coffee: Dragonheart: Battle For The HeartFire

Universal Pictures; PG-13; 98 minutes

Now available to own on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is the fantasy-adventure Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire.

Directed by Patrick Syversen, the film stars Tom Rhys, Jessamine-Bliss Bell, Andre Eriksen, Richard Cordery, Martin Hutson, Turlough Covery, Delroy Brown, Lewis Mackinnon, Marte Germaine Christensen, Orjan Tormod Gamst, Daniel Berge Halvorsen, Stig Frode Henriksen, Tamzin Merchant, and Patrick Stewart as the voice of Dargo.

The original Dragonheart was released to theaters in 1996. It received positive reviews from critics and was mild success at the box-office. A direct-to-video sequel Dragonheart: A New Beginning was released in 2000, but was shunned by critics and fans, mostly due to the bad CGI effects and silly storyline. The franchise seemed to be dead until a direct-to-video prequel, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse, was released in 2015. Despite the prequel's low budget, the CGI effects for the dragon were impressive.

The second prequel, Dragonheart: Battle For The Heartfire, picks up many years after the ending of the third film. King Gareth and Queen Rhonu (and the dragon she was connected to) are both dead. The dragon Drago (now voiced by Patrick Stewart) shared a heart with the king, but somehow survived after the King's death. The King's only son had left the kingdom years ago and since then had died, but he left behind twins - a boy named Edric and a girl named Meghan.

The twins were born with a connection to Drago, who had only noticed their existence after the King had died. Due to their connection with the dragon, the twins have supernatural powers. Edric has superhuman strength and Meghan can control fire.

With Drago's help, the kingdom locates Edric and crowns him the new king. Unfortunately, Edric has no time to enjoy his new life, as his sister has sided with an army of vikings. She's determined to take the kingdom for herself by stealing the power of the heartfire that lies within Drago.

Bonus Features on the Blu-ray are:

  • The Making of Dragonheart: Battle for the Heartfire
  • The Magic Behind Drago
  • Inside the Castle

Final Thoughts: I don't believe anyone was wanting another Dragonheart movie after the horrible sequel in 2000. I'm guessing Universal Pictures became interesting in bring back the franchise after the success of HBO's Game of Thrones. Surprisingly, 2015's Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse was a major improvement; though it still featured bad dialogue and wooden acting. The only standout was the CGI effects.

Dragonheart: Battle For The Heartfire's plot borrows heavily from HBO's Game of Thrones, where siblings are fighting for the throne. Despite the low-budget look, the prequel sequel was filmed on a bigger budget. The acting is better this time around. The Tazmin Merchant is the only returning cast member from the third film, and her appearance is only a cameo for a flashback scene. Patrick Stewart replaces Ben Kingsley as the voice of Drago. The CGI effects for the dragon are excellent for a direct-to-video release.

Overall, Dragonheart: Battle For The Heartfire is an enjoyable fantasy-adventure that the entire family can enjoy watching together. While it's nowhere close to the original 1996 film, it's the best out the prequels/sequels.

*Note- I received a complimentary copy from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. All opinions are my own.

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