In a land where battles are fought with swords and magic, a young heroine rises to glory as Templars, mages, and dragons clash. Cassandra, a brash and beautiful warrior, must stop a conspiracy that threatens the realm's most powerful religious order. Accused of treasonous crimes and hunted by friend and foe, Cassandra must clear her name and overcome her rage in order to save the day and take her place in legend.
The highly anticipated feature Dragon Age: Dawn of the Seeker (2012) is based on the popular role-playing video game, which has already been adapted to novels, web comics, and action figures. Tough-as-press-on-nails Cassandra wields a deadly sword as a member of the Seekers, an elite group of knights charged with defending the religious organization the Chantry and its leader, the Divine. She's forced into a reluctant alliance with the mage Galyan, when they discover a conspiracy to overthrow the Divine, hatched by a coven of evil sorcerers lead by Frenic (who looks suspiciously like Darth Maul). An utterly predictable series of betrayals, confrontations, sword fights, and nick-of-time rescues concludes with Cassandra being acclaimed as the savior of the realm--and the hint of a possible sequel. Dawn of the Seeker demonstrates the very different requirements of a successful game and a feature film. A player distracted by swinging a sword or firing blasts of magic in a duel to the death probably won't be bothered by limited animation or clunky dialogue. But a viewer watching a film is stuck with the ineffective facial expressions, awkward movements, and clichéd speeches ("Hate can only breed more hate"). The filmmakers concentrate on the motion-capture sword fights and stunts, which are better animated than the dialogue segments. But the look of the characters shifts disconcertingly between two and three dimensions mid-scene. Director Fumihiko Sori relies too heavily on elaborate camera moves and rapid cutting to prop up the threadbare story. The extras include a standard making-of documentary and a rather self-congratulatory tour through BioWare, the Canadian studio that created the original game. (Rated TV MA F FV: graphic violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, potentially offensive religious imagery) --Charles Solomon