Reign Of Fire has a fairly simple idea. Hungry dragons
awaken and take over the world; the few remaining humans get
to fight back with modern weaponry. So far so good.
The movie starts off very quickly, introducing the dragons
within five minutes and explaining their conquest of the world
with voiceovers. Twenty years later Quinn (Bale) has
grown from a young boy who witnessed the first dragon attack
to the leader of a tiny outpost of humanity. The world Quinn
inhabits is a post-apocalyptic world very similar to that
of Mad Max. Quinn's life is disturbed with arrival
of Van Zan (McConaughey), an American army commander
who flew across the Atlantic Ocean with several tanks and
a helicopter. Van Zan proposes that the few remaining humans
band together to kill the only male dragon on the planet,
thus exterminating the species.
Though the movie quickly takes hold, the idea begins to wear
thin. None of the characters are particularly compelling.
VanZan is a fanatical dragon hunter. Either you’re helping
kill dragons, his way, or you are part of the problem. This
enables some crazy, wild-eyed acting on McConaughey's part,
but ultimately the archaic battle axe he wields is the most
interesting thing about him. Christian Bale has almost as
little to do. Occasionally he questions his own leadership,
but mostly he gets to look buff and shout a lot. Perhaps his
hard body is the reason army helicopter pilot Alex (Scorupco)
falls for him so suddenly; her attraction is never explained.
Fortunately enough special effects and action are going to
be the main draw of this movie. The action scenes are kind
of a mixed bag. Some are gripping (skydiving out of helicopters
to attack dragons), some are forgettable (dragons attacking
townsfolk). The same can be said of the dragons themselves:
Sometimes they appear as creatures of deadly predatory beauty,
sometimes they seem to be a bunch of ones and zeros.
This movie brings nothing new to the table. Nothing stands
out , plus some genre mistakes are revisited (like where is
the gasoline for all this stuff coming from?). If you absolutely
have to see dragons or if seeing Christian Bale and Matthew
McConaughey shirtless even for the briefest amount of time
is your particular brand of vodka, then see this movie in
the theater right away. If not, rent this movie with some
friends for some late-night fun.