Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.
In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn Abercromby witnesses the awakening of a hibernating dragon from a centuries-long slumber, the result of a construction dig supervised by his mother and an incident for which Quinn feels partially responsible. Twenty years later, the adult Quinn (Christian Bale) is the fire chief of a refortified castle community, responsible for dousing the blazes lit by the dragon's prodigious number of flame-spewing offspring, airborne juggernauts that have wreaked havoc across the globe, torching civilization and turning humans into an endangered species. Hope arrives in the form of Denton "Dragon Slayer" Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), an American known to be the only man to ever kill one of the dragons, and Alex (Izabella Scorupco), a scientist/pilot who's a member of Van Zan's army, a zealous fighting force that includes a secret weapon: the Archangels, paratroopers using themselves as bait to attract and then dispatch the deadly beasts.
The film posits an alternative history in which the dinosaurs were killed off by dragons, rather than the K-T asteroid as held by mainstream science. See more »
The harpoon gun that Van Zan uses to bring down the dragon attacking the castle has a bent targeting reticle when we see it from the point-of-view shot as it is fired. However, when we see the gun from the reverse angle, as Van Zan mounts it, the same targeting reticle is a perfect circle. See more »
Good morning, Quinn. How's is going mate.
What's up, guys.
Working the late shift, are ya?
Ha! Someone's got to clean up after you guys.
See more »
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.
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