The Dragon King is a visually impressive historical adventure based on the same Germanic and Norse legends that inspired Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle operas and J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Produced for German television (and shot in South Africa), the film stars Benno Furmann as Siegfried, a prince whose family is slaughtered by a pair of evil kings; raised by a blacksmith (Max Von Sydow, still commanding as ever), he meets and falls for Valkyrie queen Brunhild (Kristanna Loken from Terminator 3) and slays the dragon Fafnir for King Gunther (Samuel West), which in turn, involves him in treachery, war, and separation from his beloved Brunhild. Well directed by Uli Edel (Last Exit to Brooklyn>, The Mists of Avalon), Dark Kingdom occasionally suffers from exceedingly purple dialogue, but the performances, action, and special effects combine to make for a rousing fantasy-drama. Originally broadcast at three hours in length, the DVD presentation here is the U.S. cut, which comes in at just over two hours; a battery of five making-of featurettes are included in the disc's supplemental features.
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