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DragonHeart 3: The Sorcerer's Curse by Mark McKenzie (Review)

posted Mar 3, 2015, 3:16 PM by Kaya Savas

It seems Universal Studios has a pretty strong hold on the direct to video market with sequels to fan favorites from the past. I actually had no idea we were on the third DragonHeart already, but I guess it’s not surprising given we have 4 Scorpion Kings already. Composer Mark McKenzie reprises his role as composer for this third entry which acts as a prequel to the original. It strangely depicts Dragons as aliens falling to Earth in comets, but oh well. McKenzie has scored both DragonHeart: A New Beginning and DragonHeart 3: The Sorcerers Curse. This time the movie is going for a bit grittier and more action-oriented take versus the family-themed nature of A New Beginning. What we have here is a very meaty score that offers some entertaining action despite the lack of anything memorable or lasting.

DragonHeart 3’s score feels as if it's all sampled, not surprising given that it was direct to video and I’m sure had a limited budget. That right off the bat hinders the emotional effect of the score. This is clearly a score that needs to be recorded with a huge orchestra, and it seems McKenzie wrote it that way. However, without the lush subtleties of a live orchestra the sound seems a bit washed over and muddled. The tracks are nice and long, and deliver a great sense of structure. But since most of the sampled sounds sound very similar, it at times sounds like someone is just holding down keys on a casio keyboard. I also had a hard time nailing down a central theme to anchor it, which didn’t really allow me to emotionally connect. But the film overall seems to be less about heartwarming emotions, and more about gritty battles. I did love that stylistically, the score reminded me of some of the action scores of the 90’s both in structure and sound. The action stuff had a nostalgic feel that definitely fit in the realm of this B movie sequel.

DragonHeart 3 suffers from feeling like one giant blob of a score at times with no real textures to add depth. The thematic work is not all that strong and since the score sounds like it's all sampled it lacks an organic feel. The use of Randy Edelman’s orginal DragonHeart theme at the end just makes me want to go back and listen to that fantastic score. Not much clicks with DragonHeart 3, but Mark McKenzie’s structures and action sounds make it worth at least 1 listen.