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Ivan Silvestrini
Helena Bonham Carter, Joseph Millson, Jack Kane
Writing Credits:
Matthew Feitshans

After raiders kill his family, Lukas sets out on a quest for revenge that includes the assistance of an ice-breathing dragon.

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $22.99
Release Date: 2/4/2020

• “A New Legend” Featurette
• “Going Home” Featurette
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer.


Dragonheart: Vengeance [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 18, 2020)

Back in 1996, Dragonheart looked like a probable blockbuster. However, the movie did a lackluster $51 million in the US, a forgettable total even back then.

With a worldwide take of $115 million, Dragonheart didn’t flop. Still, it seemed like a disappointment for a movie with mass action appeal, and given the movie’s high budget, it probably didn’t turn a profit.

Despite these less-than-great box office receipts, Dragonheart spawned a direct-to-video franchise. These started with 2000’s A New Beginning, and 20 years later, the series continues via its fifth entry, 2020’s Vengeance.

Lukas (Jack Kane) leads a simple life as a farmer along with his family. This placid existence ends when violent raiders slaughter his clan.

Intent on revenge, Lukas sets out on a journey. Along the way, he meets Siveth (voiced by Helena Bonham Carter), an ice-breathing dragon who agrees to help him. Cocky mercenary swordsman Darius (Joseph Millson) rounds out this trio as they embark on their quest.

Although I saw the original Dragonheart back in 1996 and again on DVD in 2000, I’d not viewed it since then. I thought it offered decent entertainment but I didn’t embrace it enough to want to watch any of the direct to video sequels.

If Vengeance represents the quality of its other video brethren, I made the right choice. Dull, trite and cheap, the movie goes nowhere.

Expect a hackneyed “hero’s journey” here, one that shows a slew of obvious influences. We get some Star Wars, some Tolkien, How to Train Your Dragon and plenty of other inspirations.

All of these add up to a wholly unoriginal affair. We find nary a creative moment here, as everything we see feels stale and regurgitated.

Though the movie comes with an inherently simple plot, it tosses out a slew of unnecessary character complications. The filmmakers think these add depth – especially as the movie attempts a look at the issues related to the pursuit of revenge – but they feel like little more than windowdressing.

Despite these stabs at drama, Vengeance simply lacks the depth it needs to pursue these themes in a satisfying manner. The movie tosses out too many character domains with too little commitment for any of them to succeed.

One assumes Vengeance came with a limited budget, and it often feels like the story beats exist to avoid expensive effects scenes. When it addresses character notions, it keeps things simple and cheap.

Never mind that people watch movies like this for the fantasy elements. Maybe I’d mind the lack of action less if the plot points worked, but they feel so trite and unfocused that they’re ineffective.

The same goes for the effects, as they don’t hold up to circa 2020 standards. Because I’ve not watched the original Dragonheart in about 20 years, I can’t compare its CG to this flick’s, but I’d not feel surprised to see little growth in that department.

For well-made films, we’ve seen massive improvement in computer effects since 1996, but Vengeance doesn’t do much to reflect that. Siveth looks plastic at all times, and the dragon fails to integrate well with her surroundings.

Even though I entered Vengeance with low expectations, it couldn’t live up to them. Cheesy, dull and tired, the movie goes nowhere.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Dragonheart: Vengeance appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a good but unexceptional image.

For the most part, sharpness seemed positive. Wider shots and interiors could feel a little soft, but the movie usually displayed appealing delineation.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. The film lacked source flaws as well.

Colors tended toward the standard light teal, with some orange/amber along for the ride as well. The hues didn’t excel but they represented the source accurately.

Blacks seemed deep and dark, while shadows appeared adequate. Some low-light shots could feel a bit dense, but they were mostly fine. This turned into a more than acceptable presentation.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it also felt good but not great. The soundfield could seem more restrained than expected, especially during quieter scenes, as these failed to demonstrate a smooth impression of the settings.

The mix picked up during showier action scenes, those, and these compensated for the blandness heard at other times. In particular, dragon-related elements moved around the room and created a nice impression.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that seemed concise and natural. Music appeared full and rich as well.

Effects showed a good punch. These elements became accurate and full, with nice low-end as necessary. Nothing here excelled, but the track was perfectly serviceable.

Two short featurettes appear: A New Legend (3:05) and Creating Siveth (2:05). Across these, we get comments from director Ivan Silvestrini, and actors Jack Kane, Helena Bonham Carter and Joseph Millson.

The clips look at story/characters. Both seem superficial and give us scant information about the film, though Carter offers some amusing remarks.

A DVD copy accompanies the Blu-ray. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

Stale and trite, Dragonheart: Vengeance brings an utterly forgettable fantasy. It feels like a conglomeration of influences without creativity or its own path. The Blu-ray delivers generally good picture and audio along with minor supplements. Skip this less than mediocre sequel.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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