Thursday, April 10, 2008

Reign Of Fire - Review

Reign Of Fire

Now with a poster like that and a title like that you'd expect a movie with a lot of dragons and destruction with fire. Up to this point in time, the only real dragons we movie fans have had were "Dragonheart" and Bert I. Gordon's "The Magic Sword". Briney and I actually went out into the world to visit a movie establishment to see this movie in 2002. We see trailers with dragons, we see posters with dragons, we see movie clips of a dragon taking out a tank with some awesome fire breathing action. This movie looked like it could meet our dragon movie needs!

Then we watched it.

There's only really three actors of interest in this film. Gerard Butler, Christian Bale, and Matthew McConaughey.

The movie is about how a woman screws over the world and helps to bring about its destruction. At least that's what I got out of it. Quinn Abercromby (Bale) visits his mother at her tunneling job where she unleashes a single dragon back into the world. Twenty years later the world is decimated by hordes of flying beasts and only a few patches of humanity have survived. Quinn leads one of these groups. He helps keep everyone safe by implementing rules and procedures to protect them, feed them, shelter them, and help them the best way he can. Then one day, a group of crazy American soldiers show up, in Britain nonetheless, led by Denton Van Zen (McConaughey). The American take out one of the huge dragons and become heroes to everyone in the community, except Quinn who see Van Zen as a "hot dogger" and someone who upsets the apple cart and puts his people in danger. We learn that all but one of the dragons are female and if these crazy American soldiers can find the male dragon they can kill it and let nature take its course to kill the female ones. With no reproducing dragons, man, once again, retains his rightful place at the top of the food chain.

Sounds like a good enough movie, right? Wrong! These are so many problems with this movie that I left the theater wanting to do harm to myself and whoever made this movie.

First of all, what is one thing you expect your dragon movie to have in it? If you said dragons, you get a free pass NOT to watch this movie. In this movie we are introduced to really only two dragons. That is double the number in "Dragonheart" AND THERE WAS ONLY ONE IN THERE! Note to Hollywood: dragon movie elements needed - DRAGONS!

Second of all, McConaughey is a complete douche bag in this movie. He has a flack jacket half on with the sleeves cut off through the entire movie and he's nuts.

I do have to say, this is the most clothes that McConaughey has ever warn in a movie or maybe in real life.

The Americans in this movie are very stereotypically written. First of all, these American soldiers somehow wind up in Britain and are still fighting twenty years after the initial dragon showed up. Then they come into Quinn's village and just for some reason, Van Zan and Quinn get into a fight. Then Van Zan just declares that he's going to take what he wants, when he wants.

There's also a really weird "Xtreme!" sequence in this movie of some American soldiers jumping out of the air, using one person as bait, and the others using a net to down a dragon. These people don't use parachutes, but glide to the Earth with their bat-like suits. IT'S X-TREME!!!! The "X" and the exclamation points make it more X-TREME!!!

Another glaring problem I have with this movie is how the dragons reproduced. Ok, I can buy that there is only one male and all the others are females, no problem. Yet there are two glaring problems I have with this. First of all, when the movie begins, the male dragon is released and that brings about other dragons to end the world. However, with what other dragon did this male dragon reproduce with to create other dragons? Did the male dragon start out asexual and suddenly turn sexual? Second of all, if all the dragons are females, where do the male dragons come from? If female dragons die from old age and the like, do male dragons never die? Also, where did they come from to start with? These types of post-apocalyptic movies just love to give them a way out of the apocalyptic world they live in. They write something so stupid and nonsensical just so the audience knows humanity wins in the end. I'm sorry but if I had to choose between a steroid using, crazy American soldier like Van Zan to bring about stability back to the planet I'd rather serve willingly the dragons. What's that, Dragon Overlord, more fresh babies for you? Sure, after all you ate that American muscle head!

The only thing that saves the movie from absolute failure is the final battle with the male dragon. Once you see him douse some fire on some American pig dogs you find yourself rooting for the dragon! I don't think that was the director's intentions so he even failed at failing.

Grade - D-

Two things that are essential when making a dragon movie.
1) Put more DRAGONS in the movie. When I watch a dragon movie I want more than 2 frellin' dragons in it!

2) Never, ever, EVER, even if high and think to yourself "how can I kick people in the groins the hardest" should you cast Matthew McConaughey as your macho, buff "antihero".

I'm sorry to see Christian Bale in such a bad movie, but at least his bad accent doesn't match the horrible accent of McConaughey. Also, do all British people see American saviors as driving tanks and who wear uniforms without sleeves? Is that the quintessential "tough guy" look? "Grr I'm just such a bad@$$ that I got so mad at my shirt I just ripped of my frackin' sleeves!" The only saving grace this movie has is about towards the end of the movie with the military convoy and the big dragon does his stuff! Also, I have a gripe about the logics of this movie. At least I got to see them breath fire a few times; and the Star Wars play they do in the movie was pretty good.

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