Dragonheart: A New Beginning

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Dragonheart: A New Beginning Movie Poster Image
Trite characters, cheesy CGI in violent stand-alone sequel.
  • PG
  • 2000
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No real positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters too archetypal to stand out as positive role models. Lots of stereotypical characters.

Violence

There are frequent medieval and martial-arts battle scenes involving swords and spears, including a scene in which a character dies from taking a spear to his mid-section. Dragon attacks with fire. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The king is given a "tonic" that makes him speak in a slow manner. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DragonheartA New Beginning is the stand-alone second of three movies in the Dragonheart franchise. There are frequent medieval and martial-arts battle scenes involving swords and spears, including a scene in which a character dies from taking a spear to his mid-section. There is some immature humor -- a dragon learning how to shoot fire out of its mouth accidentally shoots it out of his hindquarters, and a snobby young knight falls face-first into a pile of horse excrement. A king is given a "tonic" by his wicked advisor that leaves him sounding like he's under a sedative. 

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What's the story?

Geoff (Chris Masterson) is an orphaned stable boy. He wants to be a knight but is constrained by his role as a "lowly peasant," despite his talents as a sword fighter. But when he meets a dragon named Drake (Robby Benson), he begins to believe his dream can come true. But before that has any chance of happening, Geoff must stand up to the betrayal of Lord Osric, who is keeping the king drugged to take over the kingdom and also is pretending to be Geoff's ally in the interest of destroying Drake, the last of the dragons who was prophesied by the appearance of a two-tailed comet. It's up to Geoff to stop Lord Osric's evil machinations, help Drake so dragons can continue to live on the planet, and help restore order and prove himself worthy to be the proverbial knight in shining armor. 

Is it any good?

Even if this had been the most original medieval fantasy movie ever made, it’s marred by unintentionally hilarious CGI effects that shatter any attempts at suspension of disbelief. Although even the way some characters speak like California surfers and others like Shakespearean British actors could conceivably be overlooked, the lead dragon appears so ludicrous in every scene that it's impossible to take the story seriously. 

And the characters are as trite as they come in medieval fantasy: the stable boy who wants to be a knight, the entitled snob teen knights, the wicked advisor, the decadent king, the mysterious Asian visitors. The only exciting moments are the fight scenes, with swords and martial arts aplenty. Still, it's not enough to recommend this movie.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sequels. Why are sequels made? Are they usually better or worse than the original movie? Why?

  • How is this movie similar to and different from other medieval-style fantasy movies? 

  • How were CGI special effects used in this movie? Did they make the movie better or worse? Why? 

Movie details

For kids who love fantasy

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