Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King

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Culture, Visual

Recently I managed to get around to watching this movie. In case you don’t know, it originally aired on the Sci-Fi channel in late March. It was four hours long, so I ended up putting it off a bit. The fact that it was titled Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King really did nothing to inspire me, nor did the fact that it aired on the Sci-Fi channel. As I’m sure anyone can tell, generic “Fantasy” tends to end up making bad movies. I think I need not even provide any example of Sci-Fi original movies to support the claim that they’re horrendous.

So I managed to put off watching the thing for a good half a year or so, but I did finally watch it. Imagine my surprise when it turned out this wasn’t “Dark Kingdom” at all, but rather the story of Siegfried, the knight who slew Fafnir the dragon. I find it beyond absurd that someone would thing to change the name of this movie from Ring of the Nibelungs to something as generic and uninspiring as “Dark Kingdom.” No doubt Sci-Fi played a part in this brilliant move. Now, it’s not a totally faithful adaptation to the version of the Siegfried story that I know, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

All in all, I thought it was an enjoyable movie. There were a lot of agonizing moments where I was astounded by the stupidity of the characters, but that is largely the legacy of the folk stories … Though I’m sure the movie could’ve done a better job at conveying the motivations of the characters in some of their actions, it’s hard for me to fault them for what is largely an issue of cultural drift. I was pretty pleased by the performances, though the female leads did have some moments of dramatic excess. The effects were excellent for this picture, and the best of them were Alicia Witt and Kristanna Loken.

Loken1

Loken2

Above is Kristanna Loken. Probably the weakest actor of the bunch, a fair number of her lines come off problematically. Still, she’s physically the perfect fit for her role, and fairly convincing. Besides, who can resist a blonde Valkyrie in wolf-furs or battle armor?

Witt1

Witt2

Above is Alicia Witt. She’s definitely the more refined of the two in the film, though her pictures here don’t really do justice to that. You just have to be partial to her hair, which is both red and very luxuriant. She is definitely princess-like, as befits her role, and some of her dresses had me pining for the days when women might have actually worn such beautiful clothing.

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