For the discerning Dragon Age fan, there has been much anticipation for this direct-to-DVD film in the Dragon Age universe. While seemingly difficult to do well, movies based off video games have an inherent stigma that is nearly impossible to shake. But every so often, one comes along and delivers some real entertainment that adds to the brand, augmenting the richness of the world created by its Makers. Pun intended.
Dawn of the Seeker is set in the timeline after the events of Kirkwall (Dragon Age 2), and involves only one crossover character (also the main character), Cassandra Pentaghast. The location of the film, Orlais, was a pleasant surprise. Orlais is hinted at in both the first and second Dragon Age games, but as of yet, we have not seen it show up in the game series. Thus, I consider it a treat to get a sneak-peak at what I hope and assume will be part of DA3.
The story starts with a gathering: blood mages, a dragon, a little girl drinking blood, and a group of templar-like attackers, which we later find out are seekers. Dressed in black platemail, with a golden eye sigil, the Seekers make quick work of the mages. I realized early on that I could expect this movie to follow suit with its video game predecessors in showing large amounts of blood and gore, as well as gratuitous beheadings! The girl is rescued and taken back to the city. The High Seeker delivers his report directly to the head of the entire Chantry: her holiness, The Divine. Akin to Catholicism’s Pope, the Divine is the highest seat in the religious order. The Templars serve the Chantry by watching over and protecting the mages, while sometimes protecting others from the Mages of The Circle.
Excitement and adventure ensue when a fellow seeker kidnaps the little girl and convinces Cassandra to come along. A group of blood mages kidnaps the girl back, but this is just the beginning…
At 90 minutes, the film is well paced, with great voice acting, a decent script, and some excellent graphics near the end. From the gorgeous view of Orlais to the dragon flying through billowing smoke, some parts of Dawn of the Seeker really shine — significantly more so than others. The majority of the film is mediocre animation, but it’s not so bad as to distract the viewer from the plot. The action is fluid and the movement believable, even though the overall look smacks of late ‘90s CGI. If you are expecting something to the tune of The Adventures of Tin Tin, you will be sorely disappointed.
If you are a fan of the Dragon Age franchise, then this movie is worth your time You will be flung back into a universe you have come to adore, and it will certainly lend to you some excitement and anticipation for Dragon Age 3 (which, I hope will be better than 2). For those of you who haven’t played the games, it is doubtful that you will find significant enjoyment; as a stand alone, it just doesn’t hold up.
3 out of 5 stars. (Only because I’m a Dragon Age fan.)
Editor: Jeff Boehm