Reign of Fire

I believe this movie got lambasted on this board earlier this year, but it looks like it may be a good special effects, action flick. Has anyone seen an advance screening (if this type of movies gets on of those, that is)?


Hey, Reign of Fire. . . FASA called and they want their Shadowrun references back.

Ugh, I hate “punny” names. And this title just made my eyes roll.

Still, Rob Bowman is a pretty good director (he helmed most of the best X-Files episodes)…

But it has Matthew McConnehegh (sic).

Still, it’s getting good reviews…

I’ll probably see it.

Just wish they gave it a better name.

My roommate wants me to go see this. Normally, I’m all about dragons, but I hate post-apocolyptic settings. Too damn depressing. Didn’t care much for the Mad Max series. Didn’t play any of the Fallouts. I pretty much avoid anything that has anything to do with aftermath of nuclear wars. I guess I’ll be ill-prepared should the nukes drop, and I miraculously survive.

I’m gonna go see this, if anything than to cleanse my mental palate of “Dragonheart”.

  • Balut

The apocalypse this movie is set post isn’t nuclear. It does look pretty bad, I’ll probably hit a matinee.

From NYT:

Fire-Breathing Dragons Make It Hot for Humans

The thought a picture like “Reign of Fire” provokes is that all of the wit the movie has may have been expended in its title. But for much of its running time, “Fire” is loads of fun. It has a jamming B-picture buzz — the kind of swift filmmaking and high spirits that have been missing from movies for a while.

The picture starts in contemporary London, when Quinn (Ben Thornton), a little boy who is visiting the construction site supervised by his mother (Alice Krige), crawls into an underground space that looks part catacomb and part bowel. Then he sees it: a dragon explodes from the depths, and the movie takes on a fairy-tale horror.

This opening scene has the impact of parts of “Bambi,” and years later — in 2020, where the rest of the action takes place and dragons have taken over the world — the adult Quinn (Christian Bale) still has haunted, red-rimmed eyes. The red comes from guilt — he fears he may have let the genie out of the bottle — and lack of sleep.

Quinn is the daddy figure of a hideaway community, tucked deep inside a castle in Northumberton. He and a friend, the affable, open-faced Creedy (Gerard Butler), help keep the families safe. But when one of the real fathers, Eddie (David Kennedy), tries to steal away with his family, a dragon roars out of the thick, gray skies and pursues them. Quinn and his group, clothed in heavy-duty firefighter gear, try to effect a rescue.

Afterward, Quinn can’t be angry — if he had kids, and not much of a future apparent from living in a fetid, overcrowded place, he might run off with them, too. But the battle has left the cautious Quinn and his charges shaken. So when the combative Yank, Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), arrives with tanks and his squad, Creedy mutters, “Only one thing worse than a dragon: Americans.”

Van Zan and his band, who believe they can confront the dragons head-on and destroy them, seek to recruit Quinn’s people in their cause. This poses a challenge to Quinn, who hopes that he can evade the monsters by waiting until they die out.

“Fire,” which feels like a nightmare version of “Dungeons and Dragons,” has a quick, horror-movie punch. It turns out that Van Zan is the worst possible Ugly American archetype. With his shaved head, tumbleweed beard clinging to his jaw and appliqué tattoos, he looks as if he’s starring in a rough-trade prison musical. An action figure right out of the box, he’s a literal and self-proclaimed dragon slayer who uses the unlighted cigar jammed into his mouth as the world’s biggest tobacco chaw. And the gleam in his eye, evidence of his determination to bring down the dragons that “live on death” — the fire-breathing beasts consume ash — makes Van Zan a blood brother to Quint, the laughably obsessed Great White Hunter played by Robert Shaw in “Jaws.”

So hyper-masculine he bounces into each shot with his legs wide open, Van Zan is such a macho cartoon that even Major League baseball would test him for steroids. And Mr. McConaughey’s gift for extremes serves him well: he scores best as either laid-back trailer trash in movies like “Dazed and Confused” or here as a good ol’ boy Ahab.

When Quinn’s people celebrate after Van Zan’s troop has taken down a dragon, the coiled, surly Van Zan will have none of it. “We might just get somewhere in about 320 years,” he snarls about the numbers still ahead, contemptuous of Quinn’s more patient tactics. It probably takes all the restraint Van Zan’s low-key helicopter pilot Alex (Izabella Scorupco) can muster to keep from rolling her eyes at his bluster.

There are enough genre-picture pleasures to make us think that “Reign of Fire,” which opens today nationwide, isn’t a fluke. There’s a sweet moment in which Quinn and Creedy stage a play that’s lifted right out of “The Empire Strikes Back,” and the audience of very young children is wide-eyed with shock and happiness. (When one of the kids asks if he made the story up, the smiling Quinn responds, “Yes.” It’s part humble joke and a minor poke at copyright infringement.)

The solid cast, including Scott James Moutter as Jared, the boy Quinn has taken in, works hard. The cherries atop the sundae are Mr. McConaughey’s baleful zealotry and Mr. Bale’s haunted decency. The director, Rob Bowman, displays the nimble hand that made him an ace on a score of television pilots before he moved in to handle many “X Files” episodes and the feature film version of the series. (He’s fortunate to have a team on “Fire” that includes the production designer Wolf Kroeger and Ridley Scott’s cinematographer Adrian Biddle; their England is thick with heavy, ashen clouds.)

The movie is ingratiating and loose — mythology on the run — for a good spell. The final fight against the original dragon, who has spawned all the others, has to take place in London, where Quinn hasn’t returned since he first spotted the scaly terrors. But for all its sprightly touches, the picture finally runs out of notions. We’re worn down by its failure of imagination, too — the post-apocalyptic “Mad Max” future and the undistinguished computer graphic imagery that makes many of the early dragons look the same, like extras in a video game.

I presume that most of the special-effects budget was saved for the last, giant dragon, which has beat-up wings; it’s endured many a skirmish. So much has been lifted from other sources — the desolation looks borrowed from “Terminator 2” — that you want the movie to take on a life of its own and make use of the British setting, home of the dragon myth.

But not enough is made of the ultimate battle in London; it could be anywhere. (And it’s too bad that in this thin version of London all that’s left of the human race is whiter than the demographic for melodramas on the WB channel.) The movie might have been a minor classic if it had maximized its own possibilities. But until the rush wears off, the picture is as much fun as a great run at a slot machine: even when your luck runs out, you’re losing only pocket change.



Well, I think that I want to see that movie, honestly. Looks kinda cool.

But, then, I didn’t hate Dungeons and Dragons, so maybe I have low standards.

I’d hold that thought about going to see this one, NYT notwithstanding. It’s getting some of the worst reviews I’ve seen since “Battlefield Earth”.

“With his shaved head, tumbleweed beard clinging to his jaw and appliqué tattoos, he looks as if he’s starring in a rough-trade prison musical. An action figure right out of the box, he’s a literal and self-proclaimed dragon slayer who uses the unlighted cigar jammed into his mouth as the world’s biggest tobacco chaw.”


From Andrew O’Hehir’s vicious pan on Salon:

McConaughey and Bale spend a lot of time snorting and mouth-breathing and standing chest-to-chest staring each other down and generally acting like they’re about to go seriously gay all over each other.

Is McConaughey holding bongos?

“McConaughey and Bale spend a lot of time snorting and mouth-breathing and standing chest-to-chest staring each other down and generally acting like they’re about to go seriously gay all over each other.”

Sounds like Top Gun with Dragons! Isn’t Tom Cruise gay?


Shhhh… don’t say that aloud…

Ugh, now you did it. Tom Cruise’s lawyers are now going to be all over Quarter To Three like White on Rice.

That said, I’m having second doubts about this movie as well.

I’m going tonight…will report back tomorrow.


Ack, did you just imply that Rondell White and Jerry Rice are gay? Now we’re in trouble.

I’m seeing Reign of Fire tonight. Oddly enough, it’s my wife who is dragging me to see it. In my mind, there hasn’t been a good Man vs. Supernatural Beast movie since Dragonslayer. Legend, Dragonheart (yes, I know the dragon was a “good guy”), Dungeons & Dragons, and many others since Dragonslayer have been giant piles of ass. I figured Reign of Fire was just another ass on the pile, and it still might be, but when the wife says Go, I go (being as I still owe her for making her go to AoTC. She’ll never let me live it down).

I’ll let you know later tonight what I think of the film. I’m going in expecting cheesy B-movie, but who knows.

Hmmm…that’s kinda strange because my wife is the one who decided what we’re seeing too. We don’t get to too many movies, but she’s a big fantasy fan and this one has her pretty excited. Considering there are likely better options and she definitely is aware of them, I was surprised that this was her first choice…


My wife loves B-grade science fiction, and was so worried about my reaction to RoF after my snotty critiqueof Minority Report (which she loved, my tastes in cinema are decidedly Tom Chick-esque minus the Fight Club fetish) that she was planning to bug a couple of my friends to take her. Feeling a bit shame-faced, I agreed to go and “play nice” - no snarky comments about Matthew McConnaghey’s absent acting ability ot gags about CG rendering flaws.

Who’s the bigger geek now, I wonder?

It’s been years since I’ve seen Dragonslayer, and I generally had fond thoughts of the movie… until I realized just who played the hero. Then it makes no absolute sense anymore.

Yup, that’s right. Peter MacNicol, better known as “The Biscuit” on Ally McBeal and Alan “The Eel” Birch on Chicago Hope. I guess those later rolls have colored my mental image of Peter MacNicol, cause there’s no way I’d ever associate him with the guy in Dragonslayer.

He was also probably the best thing about Ghostbusters 2 as well. But I like it when people affect untraceable vaguely Eastern European accents for comedy.

Dragonslayer really needs the DVD treatment.
Oh, and Sparky should like this I think, I just learned that Them! is coming on DVD in August. I can hear that ‘ree-ree-ree’ sound effect now.