Hi Ho. Hi Ho. It’s off to work I go. After 11 days off, it is going to feel a little weird going back to work today. Hopefully when I get home, the internet will be working. On a happier note, some of the movies I ordered showed up yesterday so I have a bunch of movies to go through before I get back to the letter M. Now when I first heard about today’s movie, I thought it was pretty interesting. See, someone decided to take the classic novel of Moby Dick and re-imagine it into a movie involving dragons. Now I know that this wasn’t going to be exactly like the source material but I was definitely curious how this movie was going to turn out so let’s see for ourselves with today’s movie, Age Of The Dragons.
The plot: Years ago, a young Ahab was traveling with his sister but when she went to get some water, a white dragon killed her and burned Ahab when he tried to avenge her. In the present, Ishmael and Queequeg are in a tavern trying to get work on Ahab’s ship as a harpooner. When some of Ahab’s crew (Mr. Starbuck, Mr. Stubbs, and Flask) hear of this, they decide to test Ishmael to see if he can throw a harpoon. When Ishmael beats Mr. Stubbs, Stubbs congratulates him but Flask becomes jealous of Ishmael, a jealousy made worse when Ahab’s adopted daughter, Rachel, allows Ishmael and Queequeg to sign onboard the Pequod. The next day, an old man warns Ishmael and Queequeg about Ahab but they continue towards the Pequod and after loading up supplies, the land ship sets sail across the snow covered land. After several days of travel, where Ahab was never seen during the day due to his injuries, Ahab assembles the crew below deck and offers them triple pay if they spot the white dragon which injured him, but Starbuck questions that Ahab’s vengeance is not what they signed up for. The next day, they face their first dragon and after Stubbs manages to hooks it with the crossbow, Ishmael freezes up and the dragon manages to kill Stubbs before Ishmael finally kills the dragon. After Flask retrieves the vitrol, the explosive liquid found in dragons that fuels the world, the crew buries Starbuck and Rachel decides to man the crossbow on the next hunt. Later, Rachel is tending to Ishmael’s wound and after she tells him how she ended up with Ahab, Flask tries to attack Ishmael but he is stopped by Queequeg, who threatens to kill Flask if he hurts Ishmael. Meanwhile, Ahab is discussing where they should head next with Starbuck and Starbuck worries that Ahab’s vengeance will doom them all. The next day, Rachel takes Ishmael with her as they scout ahead and the two grow closer as the share their life stories. When they come across the corpse of a dragon that was killed by the white dragon, Ahab is excited and believes he will soon have his vengeance. Some time later, they see a flock of wyverns and Ahab sends Rachel, Ishmael, and Queequeg to kill them all that night as he plans to leave the next day. The three succeed in killing all of the wyverns but before Flask can retrieve the vitrol, they see the white dragon flying overhead and Ahab orders them to follow it to it’s lair. Queequeg sees the dragon’s appearance as an omen of his death and goes into a meditative trance. Ishmael questions Ahab’s decision and threatens to stop him so Ahab orders Ishmael placed in chains and when Starbuck tries to attack Ahab, Ahab kills him while Flask knocks Ishmael out and chains him to the back of the ship. The next night, Rachel tries talking with Ishmael and tries to convince him to talk to Ahab and Ishmael says he cares for Rachel but there is no reasoning with Ahab and his madness. Later that night, bandits break into the ship and try to steal the vitrol but Ishmael sounds the alarm and begins to fight them off. When they overpower him, Queequeg comes out of his trance and fights them, killing one of them while Ahab kills the other one when he threatens Rachel. The next day, they are forced to make anchor due to a storm and Ishmael and Queequeg are sent out to secure the anchors. While Rachel is changing inside, Flask attempts to rape her but he is stopped by Ishmael and forced off the ship into the storm, where he is eventually killed by a dragon. Ahab plans to go ahead on foot and Ishmael agrees to go with him to protect Rachel. Later, Rachel tells Ishmael that he doesn’t need to protect her but when he says he wants too, she reveals her feelings towards him by kissing him. The next day, they begin their ascent to the dragon’s lair but when they reach the cavern opening, Queequeg says he can’t go any further as he is on sacred ground and he will wait for Ishmael to return. Ahab, Rachel, and Ishmael enter the cavern and as Ishmael and Rachel make their preparations for the dragon, Rachel discovers the corpse of her father and realizes that Ahab killed her father. Ahab explains that her father tried to run and then admits that he ran from the dragon when it attacked his sister. Rachel throws her harpoon at Ahab’s feet then goes to leave with Ishmael but when Ahab prepares to throw his harpoon at Ishmael, Queequeg, who had entered the cavern, shouts out a warning and Ahab kills Queequeg instead. Ishmael is about to attack Ahab when suddenly, the white dragon appears in the cavern and approaches Ahab. Ahab stabs the dragon with Rachel’s harpoon but the rope becomes entangled in Ahab’s feet and as the dragon flies off, Ahab is dragged screaming behind it until he is silenced when his body hits the cavern wall. As Ishmael and Rachel watch, the dragon flies off into the distance, with Ahab’s lifeless body dangling beneath it.
You know, I expected so much more from this movie. Danny Glover (Ahab) did a decent job and Vinnie Jones (Stubbs) was his usual funny self but everyone else, especially Corey Sevier (Ishmael) and Sofia Pernas (Rachel), just seemed rather wooden in their acting. I did like the idea behind the story but I think they either needed to make it more dramatic or campier because it felt like it was somewhere in the middle and came across as somewhat half hearted. I did think they did a decent job with the dragons and I also liked Queequeg and Ishmael’s use of the atlatl for their harpoons. All in all, it’s not a bad movie but, considering the source material, it could have been much better.
Rating: 2 ½ out of 5