As we find ourselves in awards season with countless Oscar-bait films vying for our attention, sometimes we need a break from all the prestige to just unwind with some good old-fashioned trash. Thankfully, Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment have taken this opportunity to rerelease the 2004 fantasy romp George and the Dragon on VOD and DVD, and it proves to be just what the doctor ordered.
Set in 12th century England, this campy adventure from the Syfy channel sees the noble knight George (James Purefoy) embarking on a journey loosely based on the old legend Saint George and the Dragon. Boasting a supporting cast including Michael Clarke Duncan, Patrick Swayze and inexplicably an uncredited cameo from Val Kilmer, the film clearly blew its budget on casting because the rest of it is a mess. The CG is a disaster, the script is all over the place and any character development or world-building is non-existent. And yet, it is probably one of the most entertaining films I’ve watched in a while.
Taken as a cheesy old-school Disney-esque adventure – and unintentional comedy, as the attempted intentional jokes never land – George and the Dragon is a delight. It’s just so adorably amateur that you can’t help but be swept up by its charm. There’s just something so endearing about how cheap and rushed it all feels, while the casting is just wonderful in how bonkers it is. I suspect this is the only film in cinema history with the remarkable distinction of starring Patrick Swayze alongside Bill Oddie. And now I can’t get the image of Dirty Dancing’s climactic scene with Swayze triumphantly lifting Oddie to The Time of My Life. What could have been, Hollywood…
If you come into George and the Dragon expecting anything resembling quality, you’ll almost certainly be sorely disappointed by what basically amounts to a cinematic lobotomy. The film is flawed from top to bottom, and I don’t think even any of the principal creatives will argue with that. But with all that said, the film’s heart is in the right place and is actually a surprisingly – and unintentionally – charming film that offers a wonderful antidote for anyone suffering awards season fatigue. An awful film, yet one so charming you simply cannot take your eyes off it.
George and the Dragon is available now on VOD and DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment