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 method by which the dragons expel fire was inspired by two actual animals: the spitting cobra and bombardier beetle. See more »
The wound on Quinn's chin after the fight with Van Zan changes position in the following scene. 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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The usual quota of "surface reviews" here. Are we living in a totally one-dimensional society these days that has no time now for unsupported fantasy - "Just the facts Ma'am, Just the facts!"
We have here an adult fairytale no less, yet what do I read (and I include paid media critics here) but absurd negative comments such as "How did McConaughey and his intrepid band of marines come up with the fuel to cross the atlantic?" "Why are the children seemingly so well fed in a period of pestilence?" "Where does the seemingly limitless fuel come from?" etc etc. Who CARES????????? this is a DRAGON fantasy for God sakes! Someone want to set up a Government enquiry as to why fairies speak English? the possibility that Humpty Dumpty had a middle-ear infection? Perhaps the Easter Bunny has some communicable diseases that he should be tested for?
Ok REIGN OF FIRE is not up there with other sci-fi classics and the marketing department should be answering charges of misrepresentation for that poster showing an aerial armada of helicopters battling the fire-breathing beasties over central London - that just never happens but I gotta tell you REIGN OF FIRE has some of the greatest set designs and cinematography I have ever seen. It is extremely interesting to LOOK at from a technical viewpoint. The dragons themselves make the least interesting contribution to the film and except for the final confrontation which almost "gets there" they are really secondary to the film itself. If you were to actually record the amount of dragon "screen time" I doubt it would be 18 minutes....and most of them are not far off laughable. Curiously, that aspect alone should have wrecked it for me...but it didn't - I found the "wasteland asharamas" totally credible and involving.
I thought the much maligned McConaughey's role not without interest. Still haven't worked out whether or not "Mad Matt" was supposed to be some hybrid creation - part Patton, part Maximus, part Captain Ahab or just all "grunt." He certainly handled his last solo flight with flair and derring-do. Basil Rathbone himself never swung a meaner sword! Christian Bale replete with his best "know wot I mean" brit accent was pretty good I thought as Quinn the reluctant colony leader. What I couldn't believe is how the years have treated Izabella Scorupco the most beautiful Bond girl I ever saw (GOLDENEYE). I realise that a decade of fighting dragons and close-contact aeriel combat takes a lot out of a girl but she looked 20 years older! I would never have recognised her. Totally shattered an illusion I have maintained of her. If she said "Boys with Toys" now, I think I'd need a double vodka-martini!
But I digress. The dragon fx were just so-so, they saved the best for last sensibly. The script had its moments but the production work and set-design were simply awesome...SO good in fact, the rest of the film really didn't matter! Overall I would bequeath it a 6.9. Worth seeing if one is prepared to watch it in the spirit that it was made.
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