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Reign of Fire (2002)

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

Director:

Rob Bowman

Writers:

Gregg Chabot (story), Kevin Peterka (story) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,477 ( 596)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christian Bale ... Quinn Abercromby
Matthew McConaughey ... Denton Van Zan
Izabella Scorupco ... Alex Jensen
Gerard Butler ... Creedy
Scott Moutter ... Jared Wilke (as Scott James Moutter)
David Kennedy ... Eddie Stax
Alexander Siddig ... Ajay
Ned Dennehy ... Barlow
Rory Keenan ... Devon
Terence Maynard ... Gideon
Doug Cockle ... Goosh
Randall Carlton ... Burke (Tito)
Chris Kelly Chris Kelly ... Mead
Ben Thornton ... Young Quinn
Alice Krige ... Karen Abercromby
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fight Fire With Fire See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where Heroes Go Down See more »

Filming Locations:

Black Castle, Wicklow, Ireland See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,632,281, 14 July 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$43,061,982, 27 October 2002

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$82,150,183
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in The Nostalgia Chick: Dragonheart (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire
Written and Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of Experience Hendrix LLC/MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Takes a while to warm up (ahem!) but gets better
1 September 2002 | by bob the mooSee 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.


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