Skip to main content

The Vault: Reign of Fire (2002)


Before Christian Bale was Batman, Gerard Butler was Leonidas and Matthew McConaughey was the dude from those Kate Hudson flicks, dragons ruled the Earth.

Humans have been supplanted as the dominant species of Earth. After a discovery by a young Quinn Abercromby (Christian Bale minus heavy voice, same starvation) dragons were unleashed from the underground caves which they were hiding in the UK. Since that day people are forced to live in almost uninhabitable small colonies. Quinn and Creedy (Gerard Butler) are the heads of an outfit in Northern England, when they are not farming, preparing and performing The Empire Strikes Back for the children they are fighting for their lives.

Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) is a die-hard kind of American. He makes a living killing dragons. His obsession with dragons almost borders Ahab-ian levels although it could be worse considering that Captain Ahab was only obsessed with one whale, Van Zan has hundreds of winged-beasts to hate. McConaughey has fun chewing scenery as Van Zan, the intensity of his stare can melt buildings and his primal scream attacking the napalm-breathing bastards is unrivaled. Few lines were as memorable for me as when I watched Reign of Fire, but "There's nothing magical about it. They're made of flesh and blood. You take out their heart you bring down the beast," stands out most.

Reign of Fire revels in its own atmosphere, but the problem is occasionally we do not know why there is only one dragon, why there aren't more, and why Van Zan only has cigar butts. If you don't mind lingering questions this dystopian dragon venture will be worth your while.

Comments

Rodney said…
I always enjoyed this film as a simple  (simplistic?) guilty pleasure. I might have to drag this out of the DVD shelf and give it another shot sometime soon!
 
Fitz said…
It's dumb fun and who doesn't get a laugh out of McConaughey shouting, "We're going to London" but it sounds like Warrr gun to LUNDUN!" 
 I've been curious to revisit this one recently as a palate cleanser. I remember being entertained enough in the theater all those many years ago, and think there might be some fun to still be had from this. Yes?

Popular posts from this blog

Hulk vs. The Incredible Hulk vs. The Avengers

There are two movies about the Hulk and one that features the green monster as a major player. One was made in 2003 by an auteur, starring a little-known Aussie. Five years later The Incredible Hulk came out to the same tepid reaction as Ang Lee's Hulk did. This weekend, The Avengers made the Hulk as popular as he has been in a long time. So it comes down to this: Hulk vs. Hulk vs. Hulk. Who will smash whom?

Round One: Acting
Edward Norton outshines Eric Bana as the dual persona of the meek Bruce Banner and the rage-induced Hulk. Eric Bana was given little to do but run and fight and often the audience was just waiting for him to transform. With the Incredible Hulk, Norton's Banner is fully fleshed-out and we are given a reason to care about him. Being allowed to go a little dark with Banner's scenes questioning what is left of his life provided emotional resonance to the character that Hulk lacked. Yet even with the capable performance that Norton gives there was something …

Review: The Salvation

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt), have lived in the United States long enough to build a hospitable life for their family back in Denmark. This homecoming should be a sweet moment to establish the family important to Jon, but fate plays out…

Review: The Voices

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) spends his days working the nine-to-five shift at his new job at the Milton Bathtub Factory. Jerry is chipper to the point that he may turn some people off, but he never stops trying to make friends. Friends are something that Jerry could use because the only other conversation he has is with his dog Bosco and his cat Mr. Whiskers. Things are looking up though, Jerry has been tasked with planning the company picnic and he’s asked a girl (Gemma Arterton) out on a date. Jerry is so excited to share the news he rushes home to tell his pets about Fiona. Oddly enough, both Bosco and Mr. Whiskers start talking back.

No need to go back and re-read that last sentence, yes, Ryan Reynolds has pets who talk back to him. His dog, Bosco, is quite affable, however, his cat, Mr. Whiskers, would feel right at home curled in the lap of Blofeld. Unfortunately for everyone around him, it’s the advice of the evil cat that Jerry heeds more often than not. For all of Jerry’s pleasant…