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Reign of Fire (2002)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  12 July 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 101,984 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 565 user | 138 critic | 30 from

A brood of fire-breathing dragons emerges from the earth and begins setting fire to everything, establishing dominance over the planet.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Moutter ...
Jared Wilke (as Scott James Moutter)
Eddie Stax
Burke (Tito)
Chris Kelly ...
Karen Abercromby


It is twenty years in the future, and the planet has been devastated by vicious fire-breathing dragons. The last vestiges of humanity now struggle for survival at remote outposts. In a ruined castle in the English countryside, Quinn is desperately trying to hold together a band of frightened, restless survivors. As a boy, Quinn watched his mother die protecting him from one of the beasts, and is still haunted by the memory. One day, a group of American rogues shows up, led by a brash, tough-guy named Van Zam. He claims to have discovered a way to kill the dragons once and for all, and enlists Quinn's help. But doing so will force Quinn to confront his own frightening memories. This, and Quinn's responsibilities to those that are under his protection, results in a battle of wills between the two men. In the end, events cause them both to realize that they must work together to defeat the monsters--both without and within. Written by LOTUSB1973

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They're extremely intelligent. Highly evolved. And they don't like sharing the planet. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Where Heroes Go Down  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,632,281 (USA) (12 July 2002)


$1,720,747 (Japan) (6 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jack Gleeson plays an uncredited role as a member of the audience watching Christian Bale's Star Wars act. They would also share a scene years later in Batman Begins (2005). See more »


The American convoy leaves Northumberland (North East England) and travels south until the road is too blocked for them to continue. The battered road signs says "A5 - London 66 miles". The A5 runs from London north west to Holyhead in Wales. Northumberland is 300 miles north of London. See more »


[first lines]
Worker #1: Hello, Quinn.
Worker #2: Good morning, Quinn. How's is going mate.
Young Quinn: What's up, guys.
Worker #3: Working the late shift, are ya?
Young Quinn: Ha! Someone's got to clean up after you guys.
See more »


References Godzilla (1998) See more »


Interlude 1
Music by Mad at Gravity
Performed by Mad at Gravity
Courtesy of ARTISTdirect Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Takes a while to warm up (ahem!) but gets better
1 September 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In 2002, London. A group of workers on a new tube tunnel unleash a dragon from it's slumber. The end result is the destruction of much of the world and massive loss of life. Twenty years later humans live in small communities trying to survive the best they can as they hope the dragons will eventually starve without human cities to feast on. Quinn leads one such group until a group of US ex-soldiers turn up, led by Van Zan, who have more of a mind to fight back.

To enjoy this film you need to get over two big obstacles. First of all the poster – it's not for this film, it's for the prequel which I hope they plan to make. The poster shows dragons over a burning London and lots of helicopters all over the place. Basically it's a summer FX movie. However the film itself jumps this destruction and goes straight to the future, only telling us what happened through cheap footage etc. This is a big step as it's a real downer to not be allowed to see what happens when the dragon is freed – when we had the `2020' caption I was like `what the…..'. However this can be got over as the second half of the film is very good and has some good effects and good action (even if it never delivers on the poster).

The second obstacle is that it's silly and doesn't make sense. Once you accept that it's full of holes then you can sit back and enjoy it more. If you watch it and complain about plot holes then you're missing the point. For example – how come the dragons don't come and attack this fortress regularly, where does all this fuel keep coming from etc etc. But then again lets not forget that dragons aren't real either!

Like I said, the plot takes a while to get going. It's hard to watch Quinn's group in a damp castle when you know you SHOULD be seeing dragons rip into the world's cities. However when Van Zan turns up it gets a lot better and the action is good. The actual climax is also logically very weak but is very exciting and has a real nice touch plot wise.

Bale is good and is not as muscley as the Americans. He actually turned up having not worked out because he assumed that the characters would all be malnourished. But when he saw McConaughey he decided to bulk up a bit. McConaughey is really good as the pumped American. He is a bit OTT but really that's what this sort of film needs. Support is pretty bland which leaves the dragons. Sadly the dragons themselves are pretty empty bad guys. Because we never see them destroy the world their power is never feared. In later scenes this is done better but they are never more than big monsters (whereas Jurassic Park's monsters had character and threat).

Overall it took time to get going and it never lives up to the marketing hype but it's still enjoyable. Once you get past the two obstacles then you're free to enjoy the second half of the film and a really enjoyable climax.

39 of 64 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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