Merlin and the War of the Dragons (2008)
Merlin and the War of the Dragon Emperor

Nomination Year: 2015
SYNOPSIS:  In ancient Britain, a child is born to a woman who is said to have been impregnated by a demon. The priest wants to kill him, but the druid mage cleverly named Mage (a much the worse for wear looking Jurgen Prochnow) instead takes the child and raises him as his own.

Twenty years later, the child Merlin, one of Mage's two apprentices along with another orphan who, in the spirit of his master's overly descriptive name, we'll call Jerkwad. Jerkwad convinces Merlin to steal Mage's Book of Spells, which causes Merlin to go into a convulsive coma. Jerkwad gets bent out of shape at Merlin's attention-hogging seizures and stalks off in a huff. While roaming sullenly through the countryside, he comes across a dragon age, turns a bunch of villagers into dragons, and joins up with an invading Saxon army who think he's a dick but are willing to put up with it because he has a bunch of dragons.

Meanwhile, Mage takes Merlin to the Lady Nimue, a local fairy who he keeps referring to as a goddess because the writers don't know the difference between gods and fairies, which you'd think would be pretty much mythology 101, but whatever. Anyway, she wakes Merlin with a kiss and flirts with him shamelessly, which Merlin mostly ignores thanks to Mage's warning that making out with goddess/fairies is not a good survival strategy.

Elsewhere, the King starts to get nervous about the invading Saxon army and its dragons. The priest suggests that Merlin is bringing all this evil down on the kingdom and really, it's way past time to execute him. The king sends a couple of riders to get Merlin and they all have some boring adventures on the way back to the castle. The finally arrive but, before the execution can take place, the castle is attacked by some dragons, whose fiery breath is capable of laying waste to square inches and killing individual castlefolk.

Despite the dragons' rather ineffectual nature, they do manage to carry off the king to be taunted and executed by the Saxons while the English army retreats sullenly into the forest. Mage decides to go and scout the Saxon encampment and sends Merlin to seek out Nimue's sister Vivian, The Lady Poorly Superimposed Over The Lake, to get the magic sword Excalabur, which might be able to slay the dragons. He warns Merlin that, like her sister, Vivian is not to be made out with.

Mage scouts the Saxons and, much to everybody's surprise isn't captured and killed. Merlin finds Vivian, is hit on by her mercilessly, and gets Excalibur, along with the warning the anyone unworthy who draws it will be instantly slain. No sooner does he leave than he is attacked by a bandit. The bandit overpowers Merlin and takes Excalibur, intending to kill the boy with his own sword. He is not, however, Worthy. Having established that Exaclibur will indeed kill anyone unworthy who draws it, which will be important later in the movie, Merlin returns the sword to Vivian.

Merlin returns to the army sans sword and one of the knights reveals himself as King Uther in disguise. Mage returns home and runs into Jerkwad, who tortures him to try to learn where the Book of Spells is. Before he finds out anything, Merlin shows up and rescues Mage. The dying Mage tells Merlin that he has to get the Book of Spells, which he has given to Vivian for safekeeping and which contains the secret to defeating the dragon.

Merlin returns to Vivian, narrowly avoids a three-way with her and Nimue, and gets both the Book of Spells and Excalibur (again). Now armed with Excalibur, Merlin boards and crashes one of the dragons, obtaining some dragon's blood to turn a few of Uther's men into dragons. The odds thus evened, Uther's army attacks the Saxons. Merlin engages Jerkwad in epic single combat and gets his ass kicked. Fortunately, Jerkwad decides to kill Merlin with his own sword and we've seen how that goes. Jerkwad dies, all the dragons turn back into humans, and Merlin goes off to return Excalibur and, finally, make out with Vivian.

Deus Ex Machina

1. Merlin and the War ofthe Dragons: For the first time in several years -- a proper, Late Show-stylefilm break, complete with explanatory voice-over afterwards.

"Whoops!"

1. Merlin and the War ofthe Dragons: In the time of King Arthur, when brave knights rode across theland on asphalt paths.

Worst Special Effect

1.25. Merlin and the Warof the Dragons: Vivian, The Lady Superimposed Over the Lake.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Jürgen Prochnow  
Director Claim to Fame

Greg Pearson

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.