Movie Reviews

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire Poster

Yes, shamefully, I saw Reign of Fire. I start off saying that because a lot of people have reacted that way when I told them I saw it. But don’t worry, I don’t plan on seeing Eight Legged Freaks any time soon, so I think I saw the better of two evils. Although Reign of Fire was really not that good, I don’t regret having seen it. In the end, they did not make the mistake that most monster movies make, and that is they got good actors, which in turn made the movie rather bearable.

The story is about dragons, oddly enough, and I’ve heard from some dragon-lovers that this is probably the best dragon interpretation to be displayed in a movie (but when you’re up against stellar hits like Dragonheart, there really isn’t a ton of competition). This story, however, puts it in modern times, after a construction crew inadvertently wakes up a dragon that has been slumbering in its underground lair for quite sometime. This is only the beginning, however, because twenty years later is where the rest of the story takes place, after the emerging dragons have not only taken over the world, but also destroyed just about everything because they apparently eat the ash created when a field or crops are destroyed (so I suppose they’d like Cajun food, ha ha ha). We join Quinn, played by Christian Bale, who has established an entire community, who have one miniscule field that the dragons have not discovered yet, and the whole premise of the community is survival. Soon, however, a group of people from the colony decide to go out and bring in the harvest, even though it is not time yet, and a dragon shows up and woosh, there goes all their hopes and dreams. But don’t worry, because soon the Americans show up!! As always they breeze in with their brassy attitude and lots of ammunition to save the day. Headed by Van Zan, played by Matthew McConaughey, the troop moves in with a couple of tanks and a helicopter, ready to kick some Dragon ass. However, Quinn soon learns that they are not on a killing rampage, they instead want to head to London, where the original dragon was found by, you guessed it, Quinn himself twenty years earlier. This wasn’t any old dragon though, it was the only male of the entire species, so if they kill it, the species will eventually die off. Well, to make a long story short, after a few failed attempts that turned several people into charcoal briquettes, Quinn decides to join the group, which now only consists of Van Zan and the female love interest (which is so contrived it’s ridiculous) Alex Jensen, played by Izabella Scorupco, who was also in the wonderful Vertical Limit (I’m being extremely sarcastic, by the way), to head to London, where they eventually kill the male, after Van Zan dies in a heroic leap with a pick axe to try and take out the dragon that way.

The first complaint I have is that the whole one male dragon in the entire species thing seems a little thin on the believability scale. However, if this is a usual characteristic of mythical dragon species then maybe I’d buy it more. I’m no dragon expert though, so if you’re reading this and you are, email me and explain it to me. If this is not the case with most dragon species in books and myth, then it’s a bad decision by the filmmakers, and I’m sure there was some other way to have the humans win.

Another complaint I have is that the part of Alex the helicopter pilot is so contrived so that Quinn could have a female opposite. There’s a scene about 30 minutes into the movie where just Quinn and Alex are talking and it’s as if Alex is saying, “Hi. I’m only here because we needed an attractive female to bring some sexual chemistry into the mix.” It was pretty bad, although Izabella really isn’t terrible as an actress. However, in contrast to this, both Christian Bale and Matthew Mc(whatever) do a pretty good job with their roles. So the movie makers made one very good choice and that is when they had a script that really isn’t that good, they got very good actors, and the movie didn’t turn out that bad. Most movies like this have terrible actors too, which just adds to the pain.

So the movie is actually kind of enjoyable, and like I said before, I don’t regret seeing it. However, if you’re not a big dragon or monster movie fan, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Reign of Fire

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