You would think there would be more movies with dragons but you would be wrong. And out of all of them, DragonHeart is perhaps the best one. It features a stellar cast, excellent story suitable for all ages and great special effects. However, the main reason why you should watch this movie is Draco, the last dragon voiced by none other than Sean Connery. Just like in the ill-fated Highlander sequel he brought a sense of authenticity and irresistible charm to this movie. Dennis Quaid was your generic hero and I’m sure you’re going to recognize most of the supporting cast. The story is a familiar one and that only works to its advantage.
You’re not here to watch some complex and subversive tale of dragons narrated by Werner Herzog. No, you’re here to be entertained by a huge fire-breathing wise-cracking dragon voiced by Sean Connery. And entertained you shall be. It’s hard to describe just how big of a deal DragonHeart was back in the nineties. The CGI was for the first time believable proving it’s going to destroy practical effects in the coming years. They took whopping 200 photos of Sean trying to model the dragon to best look like him. And they fucking succeeded. Additionally, Draco is not going to be skulking around in the dark.
Draco will be flying around in full daylight and breathing fire on armies years before Game of Thrones. I guess, while we’re talking about other dragons in cinema, we must mention Reign of Fire. It also features excellent special effects and a strong cast led by Christian Bale. If you’re looking for something a bit less flashy and more sciency, The Last Dragon is a good choice. Moving on, DragonHeart features a rather cheeky plot that will charm the socks off of you. It talks of friendship, love, and honor and it’s terribly wholesome without coming off as pretentious or cringy. A perfectly balanced movie.
Bowen, an experienced knight has a rather strange occupation. For twelve years he’s been hunting dragons and freeing the poor villages from their evil grip. Meanwhile, king Einon has been oppressing those same people. Soon, the two of them will meet again, twelve years after destiny put them on different paths. And just like before, a dragon will appear…
In case you’re wondering, the special effects stood the test of time and DragonHeart looks excellent in the year of our lord Satan 2023. Of course, be sure to check out the remastered version for the best picture quality. Now, if you wanted to find flaws in this movie, you wouldn’t have to look hard. The script is cliched, there’s no strong antagonist, and the plot is quite predictable. However, this is the case with all movies that deal with these universal stories. And we need to hear these stories, especially when we’re young.
If you approach DragonHeart with childish curiosity and allow it to take you on an adventure, you’ll be greatly rewarded. It’s a perfect little bit of medieval escapism that will make you want to wish dragons really existed. Finally, you should know that there are no less than three prequels and one sequel to this classic nineties fantasy movie. They’re barely watchable but if you have nothing else to do, I guess you can check them out.
Director: Rob Cohen
Writers: Patrick Read Johnson, Charles Edward Pogue
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sean Connery, Dina Meyer, Pete Postlethwaite, David Thewlis, Jason Isaacs
Fun Facts: The movie was in post-production for whopping 15 months due to special effects.