Age of the Dragons
Flawed take on Moby Dick a sea of flat performances hampered concessions to original text
This loose retelling of Moby Dick boasts some sumptuous cinematography and the unlikely star pairing of Danny Glover and Vinnie Jones. But transplanting the action to a fantasy land (an effectively shot Utah) and swapping dragons for whales, the script is rarely more than perfunctory, littered with the kind of overwrought exposition that condemns second-rate fantasy.
Ishmael (Corey Sevier) joins Ahab (Glover) and his crew, including second mate Stubb (Jones) and adopted daughter Rachel (Sofia Pernas), as they hunt the great white dragon that killed Ahab’s family. Rather than a whaling ship, our heroes travel the frozen lands on what resembles a large bathtub on wheels, and since there’s precious little incident outside the ship, it’s uncertain why the Pequod exists at all, except to maintain the literary heritage. It’s one of numerous dogged concessions to the original text that hamper the script. It doesn’t help that the most charismatic performer is killed off barely half an hour in, leaving Sevier with only love interest Pernas to play against in a relationship so lacking in chemistry it’s inert.
And then there’s Glover. Screaming, spitting and barking orders in a performance so maniacal and off-kilter it’s like he’s walked in off another film. But give him his due - in a sea of flat performances, there’s little else to hold the screen.
Out now in selected cinemas, on DVD and Blu-ray from Mon 21 Mar (Metrodome).