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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
2,129 ( 864)
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:

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:

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

When the production team first began scouting for Irish locations, it was announced that Arnold Schwarzenneger would be starring. See more »

Goofs

Van Zan tells Quinn the explosive crossbow bolts are magnesium-tipped C4. Assuming the magnesium is being lit from impact or from the dragon's breath, the C4 would not detonate; C4 detonates only with combined heat and pressure usually only obtained from detonating a blasting cap embedded in the C4. Unless the magnesium tip was purposed as the ignition source of a blasting cap that wasn't mentioned in the arrow head the C4 would not have detonated. 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

References Alien (1979) 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

Superb visuals make this a bit more than just glorious mindless fun.
16 July 2002 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

`Reign of Fire's' premise is simple: the world has been wiped out by airborne, fire-breathing dragons, who at first multiplied by the thousands but now themselves are starving and dying off. A few bands of people remain here and there trying to survive. Quinn (Christian Bale, with whiskers and glottal stops), who was on the scene as a boy in London when the first sleeping dragon awakened in a cave unearthed by an Underground project his mum was working on, leads a group of survivors in the north of England who're just trying to get a crop going for the next year and save a little mob of children. In comes Van Zan (Mathew McConaughey, with shaved head and brawny tattooed arms) leading an American helicopter crew. He's become a dragon slayer and since he's found there's only one male dragon left and it's somewhere around London, he's come to solicit aid. Quinn refuses. Van Zan pushes on to London without Quinn. They fail. He returns and begs Quinn to come as guide. What follows is the finale.

If you probe too deeply into the premise you're not going to have any fun, but fun is what this movie offers, glorious mindless fun and, above all, fabulous apocalyptic visuals of twisted metal, crepuscular landscapes, dark hulking ruins, and men crawling through them to fire off weapons at the evil birds, which look very graceful as they sweep through the skies and spurt out long expanding streams of fire. Shots are so stunningly composed you want them to freeze-frame. Within the dark end-of-the-world light there is amazing clarity. Working with Ridley Scott's cinematographer Adrian Biddle, X-Files director Rob Bowman has produced the best fantasy landscape this year next to `Lord of the Rings.' When Van Zan leads a hunt in the sky, it's like a computer game, and sometimes we see the game through the eyes of the dragon and it looks like a degraded digital film. However, it's not ingenuity of conception but sheer aesthetic appeal that makes the visuals of this movie so good.

The other large positive factor is the very solid, mostly English cast including a number of appealing youngsters led by Scott James Moutter as Jared, Quinn's adopted son, not to mention Bale, who brings a striking level of naturalness and conviction to his role as the sensitive, conscience-stricken Quinn. Bale's a foil to McConaughey's American macho militarist icon. McConaughey, whose finely chiseled face can be seen staring in mirrors in `Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,' is having a lark playing a brute here, but in the moments when he isn't shouting, he gives Van Zan almost as much conviction as Bale gives Quinn. Ladies are in short supply in this story: there's Alex (Izabella Scorupco) as Van Zan's helicopter pilot who winds up with Quinn, and for five minutes there's Alice Krige as young Quinn's mum. But since this movie's ideal audience might surely be young teenage boys, that's probably enough. Other things are lacking too, such as more variety in the dragons, more recognizable details of the wrecked London of the final scenes, some more colorful characters among Quinn's community, as in post-apocalyptic classics like `Mad Max.' But to say that is to miss the point, which is that this is a fast, exhilarating ride that's a feast for the eyes. If you want to view all this as a `B' horror picture, fine: just grant that it's a first-class version. To be seen, by all means, on a big screen, preferably in a big, old-time movie house.


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