Exceptional character development for each dwarf in the trio is one of the most noteworthy components of this mystical tale. Brenn (Robert Morgan) adds a conflictingly entertaining edge to the group dynamic, being the head-strong, angry, illogically brave one who acts first and thinks later. He also lacks any form of remorse; a sociopathic tendency that walks hand in hand with his demonstrated survivalist nature. Odryd (Brent Bateman) is compassionate but indecisive, focused on getting home to his family, while Calcas (John Hutton) makes an impression as the quiet, wise voice of reason who grapples with a desolate secret. All contribute their own distinct quirky traits, making for an unlikely alliance in their joint crusade for life.
Performance wise, Morgan, Hutton, and Bateman are flawlessly cast. They win you over and have you rooting for their triumph as the narrative’s complexities thicken, a focal question indefinitely hovering: will they make it out alive? Not only that, but the depth of what they stand for diversifies as we learn more about the socio-political struggles facing humans and dwarves on the surface. The pure power of the cast, characters, and plot balances out the area where Dragon Mountain could use some work – production value.
“…will get your pulse racing. Filled with incident and purpose behind every turn…”
Darkness reigns as a series of cave walls and drops from the shifting cinematic landscape. The technical design is challenged from the start as a dim, bleak tint is obligatory in order to inspire the grim story. Just the same, there profoundly lacks much visual resource, which could have been utilized to depict the protagonists’ horror of being confined in a more stirring manner. The mysterious creature hunting the dwarves stimulates a measure of fear until you get your first glimpse of it. It’s laughably scary, at best. The same mentality applies to the CGI dragon that kicks the show off – bluntly speaking, the film could have done without.
On the flip side, a wavering quality to the camera handiwork emanates a pseudo-Cloverfield effect in a few scattered segments, genuinely adding to the paranoia. While a more vivid approach to the cinematography could have taken the tension and anxiety to a more intimate degree, the movie’s stars communicate their gut-wrenching desire to prevail well enough on their own.