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YMMV / Dragonheart

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Film Examples

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Einon. The movie makes it quite clear that he was Evil All Along and never believed in Bowen's Old Code in the first place. But how did he get to be evil? Did he become that way due to his father King Freyne's lousy example, and thus would've been a better person had Freyne been a better person? Or was his cruel, sociopathic personality his default nature from the beginning, and thus would have ended up a tyrant regardless of his upbringing? The novelization reveals that Aislinn was Freyne's bride of conquest and trophy wife. Bearing a child from her loveless marriage, Aislinn once thought of killing Einon when he was an infant but couldn't bring herself to do so; she had no love to give her son, so that left Einon to be corrupted by his tyrant father.
    • It's not entirely out of the question that Einon was a product of a love affair between The Queen and Bowen, mainly since Bowen showcased some father-like tendencies towards him.
  • Awesome Music: The first film's soundtrack by Randy Edelman easily qualifies. Primarily the central theme has been recycled not only through the rest of the franchise but also used in scenes and trailers in so many unrelated films that it has become a standard for good music.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Kara. Even though screenwriter Charles Pogue wrote a romance between Kara and Bowen, the film only implies developing feelings. Apart from being the target of Einon's unwanted advances, her only role in the movie is Bowen's Implied Love Interest. She becomes Bowen's love interest entirely in the novel, but she is slightly unimportant to the plot outside those two roles.
  • Complete Monster: At the film's start, Einon seems like a youth needing guidance from his wise mentor, but it gets revealed that any honor Einon has is just a front to learn swordsmanship from Sir Bowen. After Einon finds his dying father, he only tries to wrench the crown out of the man's hands, showing what he will become. Einon gets saved only when a dragon shares his heart with him when mortally wounded, linking their lives. As King, Einon taxes and works the people without mercy and orders a man's eyes put out with a hot poker before casually killing him years afterward. Einon later tries to rape that man's daughter, and when his mother tries to kill the dragon to stop Einon, Einon kills her with no remorse. While Bowen initially blames the dragon for Einon's change, it turns out Einon was always a monster and the dragon shared his heart to try to change Einon's nature.
  • Critical Dissonance: The film got mixed reviews from critics but has a huge fanbase who speak very fondly for the characters, visual effects, and emotional moments.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Brother Gilbert thanks to Pete Postlethwaite's comedically charismatic portrayal, is quite popular among fans of the movie.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Despite him killing her father and attempting to rape her, Einon and Kara are a popular ship.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Jason Isaacs plays a character named "Felton" in the same film with a character named "Draco." Also, David Thewlis and Julie Christie.
  • Iron Woobie: The dragon race as a whole. They swore to protect and guide humanity, yet they would get persecuted, hunted, and driven to near-extinction. Despite this, they kept their oath, down to the last dragon.
  • Jerkass Woobie: The novel version of Felton. The guy's a complete jerk, but such a ridiculous amount of bad stuff happens to him (from embarrassment to losing limbs... see Butt-Monkey on the main page for a full list) that you pity him and want to hug him.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Fairly everyone agrees that the dragon voiced by Sean Connery is the best thing about this film, that or the soundtrack.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Einon crosses it either when he casually murders Kara's father For the Evulz, or when he kills his mother when she tries to fulfill Draco's request to kill him so that Einon can die.
  • Sequelitis: People generally consider the sequels and prequels nowhere near as good as the first film. The first prequel, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse, got mixed reviews but is often considered better than Dragonheart: A New Beginning.
  • Signature Scene: The scene where Bowen on his horse is framed against the sun, and Draco flies into frame over him. Most posters and home video covers used this image.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • While Draco is a well-animated/rendered CG character for the time, the lighting on him looks off in some scenes. However, this wasn't unusual for 1990s digital creatures, as daytime shots, which this film has a lot of, were especially difficult to pull off with the era's technology.
    • While Draco escapes after he and Bowen trick Felton, he manages to swim quickly underwater without creating any turbulent flow on the water's surface.
    • When flying near Bowen in the next scene, Draco flapping his wings doesn't affect the wheat.
    • The sequel falls under this trope too, which is especially strange given that the company hired for it (not ILM) also did the X-Ray scene in the original Total Recall, one of the most groundbreaking moments in visual effects history.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Regarding the Playstation and Saturn game...oh yeah. Adding an unnecessary and frustrating stamina system, uninteresting combat, meh graphics, poor use of Draco (reducing him to little more than a screen-clearing smart bomb)... It's from Acclaim, are you shocked?
    • No Problem with Licensed Games: On the other hand, the little-remembered Gameboy game is actually playable, playing like a sort of first-person adventure game with very little actual emphasis on combat (all combats only happen at scripted points) and being more about exploration and story, almost like a western-made visual novel. It's hardly a classic, but it's not downright terrible like the more well-known Playstation/Saturn game is.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Draco still holds up fairly well even today.
    • The prequels' visual effects are good for DTV and straight-to-streaming releases.

Music Examples

  • Epic Riff: So many, though "Battlefield Requiem" and "The Blacksmith" stand out.
  • Face of the Band: Marco Caporasso is probably the most recognizable of the group.
  • Narm Charm: Anything Marco Caporasso sings.