Released on Monday 7th September on DVD in the U.K., FIRE & ICE: THE DRAGON CHRONICLES was made by MediaPro Pictures and The Sci-fi Channel, and directed by CATWOMAN director Pitof. Anyone expecting a fantastical spectacle of fantasy and adventure, with amazing mythical dragons and state of the art special effects is going to be sorely disappointed.
I don’t know what they were thinking when they created the dragons, but I can guess: the clue is in the title The Dragon Chronicles – someone, somewhere must have misunderstood, because what we’re presented with is ‘chronic dragons’, and I mean diabolical. They look more like stingrays than mythical monsters! The first dragon appeared within a few minutes of the opening, and at that point I was tempted to switch off. How I wish I’d gone with my gut and flicked that switch.
Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles is not bad enough to be declared rubbish, but it could have been so much better. It has all the ingredients for a good, if unoriginal, action adventure: a good King, a bad King, a corrupt advisor, a wilful princess, and a brave knight, not to mention two battling dragons – not a bad concoction at all. Unfortunately added to this mix are bad acting, average CGI, and those god damned flying stingrays! That’s not to mention the missing ingredients of a handsome and believable hero, good, gritty action sequences, and an exciting final showdown with the dragon.
When their kingdom falls under attack from a Fire Dragon, they have two choices, surrender to the evil King, who has the means to protect them, or look for the valiant knight who saved them during their last dragon attack. The good king is reticent to ask for help, and would rather bury his head in the sand than actually make a decision! Fortunately, after eavesdropping, his wilful, tomboy of a daughter, Princess Luisa (Amy Acker) sets off in search of their saviour. Sadly, he’s no longer with us, so his son, Gabriel (Tom Wisdom) reluctantly takes his place. His father taught him everything he knew, so the kingdom should be in safe hands. The first thing Gabriel does is summon the Ice Dragon; known to be more powerful than the Fire Dragon, it should rid the kingdom of their fiery enemy. Great plan, except for now they’re stuck with the wrath of the mighty Ice Dragon! Duh!
I could talk for England about all the problems with Fire & Ice: The Dragon Chronicles, but suffice it say that it could have been brilliant, but instead is flat, bland and boring. I don’t know how a knight fighting a dragon can be boring, but they managed to pull it off somehow! The action scenes are a total let-down. Everything looks way too glossy and clean. Yes, this is a family film, but even children know that if you stab someone you get blood on your sword! Where’s the grit?
Their press release compares The Dragon Chronicles to The Lord of the Rings and Stardust. I’d compare it to a cheesy made for T.V. fantasy film which only eight year old children will love – because that’s what it is!
THE DRAGON CHRONICLES: FIRE & ICE (2008). Directed by Pitof. Screenplay by Michael Konyves and Angela Mancuso. Cast: Amy Acker, Tom Wisdom, John Rhys-Davies, Arnold Vosloo and Rasvan Vasilescu.