I saw Eragon tonight.
For what it’s worth, I have not read the book.
Overall, the movie felt like a bad LotR-ripoff. I am in no way a rabid LotR fan. In fact, I froth at the mouth and start looking for jugulars when people complain about things like Faramir’s role in the film, or discuss which dialect of Elven is more practical.
There are many many shots of sweeping vistas. Too many. I don’t go to the movies for sweeping vista shots. The acting was relatively decent for a fantasy movie, although the plot was tritely formulaic. The special effects were standard- nothing real cheesy, nothing too great, although the scene with the baby dragon was incredibly adorable. (It grew up too fast! I wanted more baby dragon scenes.)
The fights were incredibly lukewarm. After the truly epic fights of Lord of the Rings, if you’re going to have an epic fight, do it right. The climactic battles were remarkably small scale. There were some good action sequences. The movie probably would have been better if they focused more on those and less on the sweeping vistas.
Verdict: Better than the Dungeons and Dragons movie, although that doesn’t say much. The best part of the movie can probably be duplicated by taping wings to your cat, and watching it bat them off. Go see Casino Royale (again, if necessary) instead.