Dragonheart: A New Beginning
directed by Doug Lefler
(Universal, 2000)

Dragonheart: A New Beginning picks up where the original Dragonheart ended. According to legend, a dragon's heart could be used to destroy mankind during the appearance of a two-tailed comet. After all the dragons had been annihilated, a solitary egg was discovered and entrusted to Friar Peter (John Woodnutt) at Brother Gilbert's Monastery. He was charged to guard the baby dragon, Drake (voice by Robby Benson), until after the passing of the comet, due to appear in 20 years. This story begins eight days before the arrival of the comet. A young Friar Mansel (Matt Hickey), who became the keeper of the dragon when Friar Peter died, narrates the tale. (Anthony O'Donnell provides the voice of the older Mansel.)

An orphan stableboy, Geoff (Chris Masterson), dreams of becoming a knight but is from the wrong social order to qualify. When he discovers the dragon, his dreams are suddenly attainable. They soon become close friends and face their fears and obstacles together. Drake cannot fly or breathe fire. Geoff cannot fight. Together, they mature and learn about the world, especially the dangers.

A strange Oriental man, Master Kwan (Henry O), and his "son" arrive and begin asking questions about dragons. They meet Geoff and the action begins. Master Kwan and his "son" (OK, it's a girl in disguise -- a girl of some importance, actually) are guarding the last dragon heart and trying to protect mankind from destruction. They put Drake through a series of tests to learn if he has any evil in his own heart. Will Drake pass the tests? They also put Geoff to test to learn what is in his heart. Does he have evil intentions for the dragon? How far will he go to become a knight? Will he take advantage of his friendship with Drake?

Lord Osric (Harry Van Gorkum) is the righthand man to the bumbling and extremely incompetent king. In reality, it is Lord Osric who runs the kingdom, controlling the king and calling the shots. When he learns of Drake's existence, he develops an evil scheme to take control of all mankind by using Drake's heart. He is pure evil and will stop at nothing to attain his goal, including killing anyone that stands in his way. Will he succeed?

This movie has all the elements to keep you enthralled. You will laugh out loud when Drake tries to learn to breathe fire. You will fight tears when Mansel is abducted and thrown into the dungeon. You will despise Osric for orchestrating a dastardly plot to get Drake's heart. And you will be stunned by the martial arts skill of Lian, a high-kicker with some very smooth moves.

The special effects are fantastic. There is a dragon fight scene that will put you on the edge of your seat, dodging and ducking fireballs and jumping to avoid the buildings. It is a spectacular piece of footage that will leave you breathless.

This movie is topnotch entertainment. It engages your emotions as well as your flights of fantasies. It will keep your mind spinning as you try to outguess the villains and decide who the good guys really are. Take a break from the harsh realities of life and enjoy a crash course in flying with this unlikely pair of heroes.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 15 February 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.