Some of you out there may remember a fun little fantasy film from 1996 starring Dennis Quaid and Sean Connery called Dragonheart. I myself have a vague memory of watching the movie and liking it at the time, but I don’t think it was a particularly big hit or else I’m fairly confident that I would have seen it again more recently. But even if you remember the original and loved it, I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that it had not one or two, but 4 sequels!
That’s right, 2020’s Dragonheart Vengeance is the fifth in the series that was kicked off with Sean Connery as a talking dragon. Who would have guessed. I, for one, was very intrigued and, quite frankly, perplexed when I heard about this one at first, and I am glad that I am getting the chance to review it, because I am very fond of dragons, and Helena Bonham Carter plays the voice of Siveth, the ice dragon in this film.
Following a young man (Lukas) who’s family was murdered in front of his own eyes, Dragonheart Vengeance immediately shows us where the title comes from. Within the opening minutes we have the basis of the plot laid out for us – Lukas will head in all four cardinal directions to seek out and take vengeance on a group of seriously badass villains who took his family away.
Lukas’ first step is to hire the help of a swashbuckling tracker by the name of Darius, who seems to be running from his own past, and, ironically, is a man who does not particularly want the help of a dragon – but wouldn’t you know it, that is precisely who Lukas is going to turn to in this venture. Little does Lukas know that Siveth and Darius have a unique and intertwined past.
While the themes that this movie take on are not exactly suited for younger audiences, this movie does feel very much like a family adventure. There is a strong theme about doing the right thing, and against the applications of retribution for others’ wrongdoings. It also helps that there is a healthy does of humor thrown throughout the film as well. To be honest, after hearing that this was a fifth in a series, I was expecting utter trash, but instead Dragonheart Vengeance was surprisingly entertaining in a fun and less serious way, almost like the original.
This blu-ray looks really great on screen – almost too great. I mean that in a distracting way. This is something that has sort of been bothering me over the last couple of years, when you can tell how new and perfect that clothing and props are in a world that is supposed to be dank and dirty. In this case, I was less distracted because the CG was also a bit too clean looking, so it was obvious that this was a design choice that made the movie feel a bit more on the lighter side. I want to think that they did this in the spirits of making the world family friendly, and not because they thought it looked right. If you are sensitive to CGI in films, you might be distracted, but if you can just let it slide and enjoy it for the lighter fantasy it is attempting to be, you’ll likely have a good enough time.
The disc has a DTS Master Audio 5.1 channel track that is used to pretty great effect. The surrounds are not reference material, but there is depth of space here, and the dialogue is never lost in the middle of the movie’s many fight scenes and action sequences.
This Blu-ray release comes in a standard blue case with an embossed slipcover, with Blu-ray and digital copy of the film.
The included special features are:
- A New Legend
- Creating Siveth
These are just a couple short featurettes that are not super exciting, but might be worth a watch if you really enjoyed the movie.
Our Recommendation for Dragonheart Vengeance:
This movie was a surprise to me. I went in expecting a big mess, and instead got a fairly fun little family fantasy film. It is a far cry from classic, and nine times out of ten I’ll go grab Willow or The Princess Bride if I’m in this particular film, but if you want to try something new then this is a fine way to spend the evening with your family.