You know how it goes. I'm minding my own business trolling through movies on Netflix, when up pops this fantasy movie from 2011 that gets my attention, Dawn of the Dragon Slayer. I know from the title it's going to have a dragon in it, probably some medieval swordplay, a hero, and surely a damsel in distress. It's a recent production, so maybe it'll have some fun with the fantasy tropes for an hour and a half of entertainment.
I click on the link to see how it rates. Hmmm...
Okay, 3.4 stars out of 5 isn't a terrible average for so many reviews. Good tag line. Blurb is interesting. Artwork on the poster is awesome! Netflix doubts I will like it much, but let's give it a go...
Forty-five minutes later...
I can't take it anymore. My brain is numb. There isn't one new idea in this film. It's the same story I've seen again and again. Sheepherder's father is killed by dragon. Boy vows revenge. Boy has secret connection to important family. Boy trains to become a knight so he can kill the dragon. Boy falls in love with benefactor's daughter (the only one, of course, who believes in him). Boy makes an enemy of nobleman who is supposed to marry benefactor's daughter. Boy tries to kill dragon before he's ready and fails. Boy...well, I don't know what happened after that because I turned it off, but I'm sure the love between the boy and his lady only enhanced the power necessary to slay the dragon.
Then I see this on IMDb where it gets an overall rating of 3.7 out of 10:
And then I came to my senses. Yes, yes it is bad to settle for a cliche. Don't do it. Strive to do better. You want to make a movie about a dragon slayer? Great, I want to watch it. But can't he be something other than the poor orphan lad who lives in a thatch hut in the mountains tending sheep? Can't the love interest be the blacksmith's daughter who knows how to make a dragon-killer sword? Better yet, why isn't she the dragon slayer? Send the boy back to tend his sheep, and I'll get the popcorn.
Got any fantasy cliches you're tired of seeing?
artwork by Arthur Rackham