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.
In an interview with the AV Club in 2015, Alexander Siddig (Ajay) said, "The only thing I remember about that was the first day. The first A.D. came into the trailer where we were all having our makeup and shit done, and he was, like 'Guys, I need your attention, please.' And we were, like 'Yeah?' And he said, 'Um, Mr. McConaughey's gonna arrive on set in about 15 minutes, and I have to give you a directive - which comes from the producers - that you are not to call him 'Matthew' or 'Mr. McConaughey' or anything to do with his real life. You must call him Van Zan.' Van Zan was his character name. 'And even if you meet him outside in the road, even if you meet him out in town in Dublin,' where we were shooting this movie, 'You must call him Van Zan.' And that is exactly what I remember about that movie, because as that first A.D. left the building, I shouted - rather lamely - 'And he's got to call me Elvis!' But he didn't call me Elvis. In fact, he didn't call me anything!" 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.
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Watching REIGN OF FIRE I was left with the impression that the script was originally written as a bleak post apocalyptic drama in the tradition of John Wyndham and John Christopher , where a Hollywood studio decided the script wasn't marketable enough so a studio executive decided to introduce dragons into the screenplay as a commercial gimmick
Where REIGN OF FIRE works best is in its survivalist themes . Quinn leads a band of survivors and when they hear " Edinburgh is gone " they react if it's the worst news in the world . You can believe these guys are starving to death , that all hope is gone and when they see Denton's American militia arrive you know that the undercurrents of tribalism and rivalry are going to surface . Unlike 28 DAYS LATER this movie almost works as post apocalyptic thriller
These "Shattered Earth " ideas are very convincing but as soon as the dragons are introduced the illusion falls apart because for a film marketed as featuring fire breathing dragons ( You have seen the posters right ? ) they seem to be there as an after thought and are totally underdeveloped in the script . There's no real explanation as to how or why the dragons were hibernating in the London underground and the whole concept doesn't bare up to any close scrutiny . Why weren't nuclear weapons effective against them when a dragon can be killed with a road pick ? Very little thought indeed seems to have gone into this aspect of the script and needless to say the ending is a cop out
Note to Hollywood executives - If you're going to finance a film that features a desperate band of survivors can you cut out gimmicks like zombies and dragons please ? Thank you
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