I went into this movie with an open mind, like I do nearly every film I go to. No pre-judgements, no pre-concieved notions. I take the film as it is.
And what this particular film is, is a disappointment.
This is coming from someone who likes the Hulk, which most of you simply cannot stand.
There was no sense of pacing. None. You got no sense of how much time passed from one major event to the next or even one SCENE to the next.
Things occurred with NO explanation. For example, Eragon casts a spell by instinct. His mentor, Brom teaches him a few basic words, and suddenly he's a master spellcaster, busting off spells at will, including stuff Bron DIDN'T teach him the words for? What the FUCK? The evil demonic sorcerer who simply looked pale in one scene suddenly looks like Linda Blair from the Exorcist with a dire need for Chap-Stick in the next scene? What the FUCK?? The dragon grows from a wyrmling to a fully adult dragon in the space of 5 seconds? What the FUCK???
Dialogue and especially EDITING could have stood major improvements. This is a movie that looked like it was made for MTV. In one scene, the sorcerer (who is the major antagonist throughout the movie) telekinetically flings weapons at our hero. The single thought that ran through my head was, "Dark Willow did it better, and with more flair." Jump cuts abounded for no reason. And the dragon would shrink and grow in size from scene to scene.
Now, there were SOME bright moments. The demonic assassins the sorcerer sent after our hero were creepy as fuck (for the little screen time they got) and the dragon itself was gorgeous. The casting wasn't ENTIRELY bad. Jeremy Irons did very well in his role (WAY better than in the D&D movie), and Rachel Weisz voiced the dragon well.
But Djimon Hounsou was utterly wasted, the kid in the lead role chewed the hell out of the scenery, and John Malkovich? Well, he wouldn't be my first choice to play an evil emperor. Galbatorix strikes me as a cross between Vader and Palpatine and Malkovich doesn't strike me as being as commanding as either.
This movie had so much more it could have done, but didn't. More character development, more exposition, more connective tissue.
There are two other books in the series. Don't expect to see them on film anytime soon.