Review: ‘Age of the Dragons’

Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" gets a landlocked remix courtesy of ill-conceived action-adventure "Age of the Dragons."

Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” gets a landlocked remix courtesy of ill-conceived action-adventure “Age of the Dragons.” Helmer Ryan Little scored a surprise DVD hit in 2003 with religious-flavored WWII pic “Saints and Soldiers,” but lightning is unlikely to strike twice with this misbegotten medieval tale. Theatrical prospects look bleak in all territories, so pic’s best chance of exposure may come via Sunday-afternoon TV slots, harpooning captive family auds.

As in the novel, narrator Ishmael (Corey Sevier) joins Ahab (Danny Glover) on the good ship Pequod, in this instance an iron contraption that seemingly self-propels on wooden wheels. The seven-strong crew ostensibly seeks the precious “vitriol” inside the fire-breathing winged creatures. In fact, Ahab’s mission is revenge on a particular Great White Dragon that decades ago scarred and injured him, and also killed his sister. Conflict arises via a romantic entanglement between Ishmael and Ahab’s feisty adopted daughter, Rachel (Sofia Pernas), which inspires hostility from jealous hothead Flask (Larry Bagby). Glover fares no better than less-seasoned thesps with generic dialogue and dull incident. Shoddy CGI indicates a production budget that’s fatally inadequate for the task at hand.

Age of the Dragons

U.S.-U.K.

Production

A Metrodome Distribution (in U.K.) release of a Koan presentation in association with Metrodome, Cosmic Pictures and Incentive Films. (International sales: Koan, Park City, Utah.) Produced by McKay Daines, Steven A. Lee. Executive producers, Gil Aglaure, Joe Pina, Peter Urie. Directed by Ryan Little. Screenplay, McKay Daines, based on the novel "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Little; editor, John Lyde; music supervisor, J. Bateman; production designer, Debbie Farrer; set decorator, Anthony Straga; costume designer, Anne Auernig. Reviewed on DVD, London, March 3, 2011. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Danny Glover, Corey Sevier, Sofia Pernas, Kepa Kruse, Larry Bagby, David Morgan, Vinnie Jones.

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