DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 24250: Small Claims Court

Buy Age Of The Dragons at Amazon

Age Of The Dragons

Arc Entertainment // 2011 // 92 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 3rd, 2012

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review

Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!


All Rise...

Judge David Johnson grew up in the Age of the Iguanas. There was poop everywhere!

The Charge

The ultimate hunter is the ultimate prey.

The Case

Herman Melville's immortal Moby Dick gets commandeered and punched in the nuts by this low-budget fantasy movie about dragons, featuring Danny Glover wearing a weird-looking contact lens. Age of the Dragons hopes to differentiate itself from a pack of forgettable dragonfire auctioneers, but ends up earning itself a place in the Straight-to-DVD Fantasy Wing's Hall of Mediocrity.

Our hero? Ishmael, of course; an idealistic young man with a well-groomed beard and an absolute hard-on for killing dragons. As an added bonus, his anti-dragon sensibilities yield big-time profits. You see, in this world, dead dragons crap out "Vitriol," an extraordinarily valuable compound with a name that's almost as stupid as "Unobtanium."

Ishmael (Corey Sevier, Immortals) teams up with the lovely Rachel (Sofia Pernas), the brutal Queequeg (John Kepa Kruse), and the maniacal Ahab (Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon), all of who share in an abiding love of stabbing dragons in their heads. Ahab in particular is nursing a major grudge against the infamous white dragon who may or may not have incinerated his family. So they depart in their amphibious wooden ship and take the fight straight to the Great White's mountain lair.

I'm torn. On the one hand, this riff on Moby Dick smacks of pretension. Then again, an aping of Melville surely beats whatever dreck most action/fantasy screenwriters come up with. To director Ryan Little's credit (or maybe it's Arc's marketing team who deserve the kudos), the alignment with the Great White Whale isn't hidden. On the back of the disc case, the story is lauded as "reigniting the classic tale." I'm not totally sold on the effectiveness of this gimmick, but at least no one's trying to be coy and cute with their approach.

Literary influences aside, this is still a low-budget fantasy. It manages to do a few things right, before ultimately succumbing to the drag of mediocrity. I tend to piss and moan about the laughable quality of CGI in movies like these, so it's only fair I give props when someone gets it right. Age of the Dragons won't be confused with The Lord of the Rings—or even Reign of Fire—anytime soon, but the VFX team makes good use of their limited resources. The dragons look decent, especially the White Dragon, which is largely filmed in broad daylight. Embrace your work boys! Don't be ashamed!

On the flip side, the human elements are hit and miss. Danny Glover tries harder than I ever expected, going so far as to stick an uncomfortable-looking contact lens in his eyeball and adopting a gruff accent. Corey Sevier is likable enough as Ishmael, but that's as far as my praise extends.

The DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital, a making-of featurette, outtakes, director's commentary and a special effects segment.

I don't know…I may be overselling Age of the Dragons a bit, bewitched by its surprising visual artistry. In the end, it's pretty tedious, slowly paced, and riddled with dialogue that eschews wit for ponderousness.

The Verdict

Call me Guilty.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give Age Of The Dragons a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review

Follow DVD Verdict

Other Reviews You Might Enjoy

• Sneakers (HD DVD)
• The Marine 2
• Lethal Weapon 3
• Excalibur (HD DVD)

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Arc Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
• Action
• Fantasy
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary
• Featurettes
• Outtakes


• IMDb

DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.