After watching the movie ‘Hyenas’, a mix of ‘Westside Story’ meets ‘The Howling’ I often wondered how these things get imagined, greenlighted, and ultimately completed. Now after watching ‘Age of Dragons’ my curiosity has only been elevated. Moby Dick with dragons. Somebody somewhere thought this just might be a good idea and who am I tell these intelligent people that it’s not? Nobody, that’s who. Anyway as it turns out this wasn’t all that great an idea.
So back in the day, I guess, in a small nowhere place in particular we catch up with young Ahab hunting rabbits when his silly younger sister wanders off to play in a puddle. Unfortunately dragons roam this land and they find little girls quite tasty. Young Ahab tries to battle this vicious white beast but alas it only leaves him burnt and scarred from head to toe and little sister is dead. Note that Ahab holds a grudge like few others.
Fast forward about fifty or so years where we meet Ishmael (Cory Sevier) who will serve as our narrator for this tale. Ishmael and his life partner Queequeg (John Kepa Kruse) have traveled the world hunting big game and have heard that if you want to hunt the most dangerous game, this being dragons, then you need to saddle up next to loony Captain Ahab (Danny Glover). Ishmael proves his worth with a harpoon to Ahab’s second mate Mr. Stubbs (Vinne Jones) and after catching the eye of Ahab’s hot daughter Rachel (Sofia Pernas) Ishmael and QueeQueg have a one-way ticket to adventure. At least in theory.
So our crew goes on their journey to hunt dragons for their vitriol, the oil inside the dragons which power this mythical land. This is something they made up for the movie. I believe the Moby Dick equivalent would be Blubber. I think. Note that we still haven’t seen Ahab who has locked himself away from everyone plotting his course to revenge, and also because his injuries long ago have made him sensitive to light. But only on occasion. Danny Glover was in the middle of making like a half dozen movies while shooting this so he probably wasn’t available a lot of the time.
When Ahab finally does make an appearance it is clear that he is Karazay! And not like a fox. Man, that dragon fried all of the common sense parts of his Medulla Oblongata to the point where his crew was ready to mutiny on him. That is if Ahab weren’t such a badass or if his genetically mismatched daughter wasn’t so loyal to him. Regardless, the remaining members of the crew soldier on to accompany Ahab and his date with destiny. With Queequeg, the wise and mystical native dude, telling anybody who will listen that they are all gonna die. Queequeg, a certifiable badass when he’s conscious, was in a trance for about four days and during that time anybody could’ve stuck a knife in his back. It wouldn’t have been cool, but it sure would’ve stopped his whining. Roll credits. Please.
Well, if you absolutely positively have to watch one re-imagined version of Moby Dick then I guess I’m forced to advise you to pick up The Asylum’s ‘2010: Moby Dick’ That is if you desperately are feeling the need for some modern Moby Dick. The one thing that The Asylum’s Moby Dick has over director Ryan Little’s Moby Dick is that that other Moby Dick at least tried to have some fun with the concept whereas this Moby Dick… one that featured dudes chasing dragons for their Adam’s Apples… took itself more seriously than even Herman Melville’s classic novel ever did.
Now taking yourself seriously in a movie, even if the concept of your movie is ridiculous, isn’t a necessarily a bad thing, but if you are going that route then everything else in support of this seriousness had better up to par. Unfortunately this did not happen here. Cory Sevier’s narration was lifeless and uninspiring, the inclusion of Sofia Pernas’ character of Rachel was pointless, only serving the purpose to insert a pretty girl into the mix, Danny Glover did his best to overact to liven up the entire process, but it wasn’t close to enough, with only Vinnie Jones… yes Vinnie Jones giving us something to latch onto during his brief stay in this movie since his character was the only character who seemed to be having a good time in this movie.
But the biggest problem with ‘Age of the Dragons’ was that it was dull. You see I actually liked the way the dragons looked, I like the design of the dragons and with just a few exceptions I liked the way that they integrated the CGI dragons into the surroundings but the few dragon battles they did have in this movie were lifeless and lacked a pulse, which meant the majority of this movie was spent with these dull, uninteresting characters as they slowly traveled the country side and spoke of next to nothing or listening to Cory Sevier drolly narrating about little or nothing. Not a solid recipe for entertainment.
Moby Dick with Dragons. For the next re-imagining of some classic literary work, say ‘Nicholas Bartleby versus The Hydra’ we only recommend that you have some fun with it and keep it moving. As we like to say, we don’t care where you go as long as you get there in a hurry.