MOVIE: Reign of Fire (2002) (blog)
Category: Reign of Fire Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: February 11, 2008 | Publication: wordpress.com | Author: Editor
You guys are never gonna believe this, but guess what! I loved this movie! Now wait, donít get me wrong ó there are about 86,000 things about this flick that I found totally and completely stupid. However, unlike with other dumb movies Iíve seen recently (ahem, Equilibrium, ahem), the really stupid parts of this one werenít intrusive enough to distract me out of enjoying myself. Lovely!
The movie opens in London with a little boy named Quinn hanging out with his mom who works in a mine of some sort. Heís down there playing in the tunnels one day when he stumbles across, and I guess wakes up?, an enormous creature. At first, he has no idea what it is, but a few moments later, it emerges from the tunnel, flapping its wings and breathing fire, and to anybody whoís ever read a fairy tale, itís immediately clear weíve got a dragon on the loose. An hour later, everyone in the mine but Quinn is dead, including his mother, and man, do things go downhill quickly from there.
The next thing the human race knows, there are hundreds, thousands of dragons flying around the world turning everything they encounter into ash. At first, the humans try to kill them, but it soon becomes clear their conventional weapons are no good. At a loss for anything else to do, a few countries launch nuclear attacks. But, of course, as anybody with half a brain couldíve predicted (not that the government ever listens to anybody with half a brain, or a whole brain, for that matter), instead of wiping out the dragons, they pretty much finish off the rest of the planet.
Cut to about 15 or 20 years later, and now Quinn (Christian Bale) is all grown up and living in a stone castle (good idea ó harder to burn your house if itís made out of rocks) with a group of fellow survivors. He and his best friend Creedy (the utterly gorgeous Gerard Butler) spend their days struggling to keep their people clothed, warm, and fed, and their evenings reenacting scenes from classic movies for the entertainment of the groupís two dozen or so children (loved the Star Wars scene, by the way!).
For the most part, the group is muddling through. But theyíre about to run out of food, and options, and they remain under constant attack by a group of local dragons that keep them from growing many crops or wandering too far from home.
However, lucky for the doomed Brits, theyíre in a movie thatís clearly been modeled on World War II flicks, and soon the Americans are storming in with a group of tanks, a helicopter, a bunch of weapons, and a cigar-butt-chompiní, Southern-drawliní leader named Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey, totally having a blast with this role). Van Zan is determined to do more than just survive and he needs Quinnís men to help him do it. At first, Quinn refuses to let any of his people risk their lives for what he thinks is a preposterous idea (killing the Germans ó oops, I mean ďdragonsĒ ó instead of just trying to stay away from them). But the more he sees Van Zan do, the more he starts to believe there might be a way out of this mess after all.
Now, there are a TON of things about this movie that made no sense whatsoever, and one of the primary ones was where in the hell they were getting all their fuel. The helicopter flies around constantly, not to mention the trucks, tanks, and motorcycles that are zooming around all the time, and yet fuel is never even mentioned, despite the fact itís now almost 20 years after the apocalypse, and the dragons have set the entire planet on fire. Now, correct me if Iím wrong, but Iím pretty sure fire is, like, really bad for fuel. And if the whole worldís been burned, where are they getting all this gasoline? They clearly arenít storing it in huge tanks next to their castle, where the dragons are going to ignite and then blow it up. But thereís not exactly a functional Shell station down the street either.
Then thereís Van Zanís plan to wipe the dragons out ó heís figured out that all the dragons they see are women, and that thereís only ONE male dragon, living in London, fertilizing all the eggs by himself. (Incidentally, Big Daddy Dragon is the same one Quinn awoke as a boy, the same one that killed his mother ó so we know right away where that part of the story is headed, right?) Anyway, what this means is that if they can kill the Big Kahuna, they can wipe out the entire dragon race.
But, wait Ė thereís ONE MALE DRAGON for the whole Earthís worth of dragons? Seriously? There were about 300 dragons alone in just one region of London ó youíre telling me ONE MALE DRAGON is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dragons around the world?
No sir, I donít believe it.
Not only that, but the way this storyline actually plays out at the very end also made no sense at all ó I wonít say more than that because I donít want to spoil anything for anybody, though. For those of you who have seen the movie, Iím referring to the final final scene, set three months after the denouement. The scene in which there also needed to be kissing and wasnít, by the way. Just another minor bone I wanted to pick. Not even a peck on the cheek to entertain the ladies in the audience? I was bitter.
Oh, and one more thing I just have to mention because it keeps showing up everywhere lately (including last weekís episode of Lost) ó the word is CAVALRY, people, not CALVARY. Look it up.
The funny thing about this movie for me, though, was that even though there were all these things (and more!) that made no sense ó things no less dumb than, say, the stuff that made me crazy in Equilibrium Ė I still enjoyed the beheysoos out of this movie. Sometimes movies that are full of cheesy, lame stuff or plot points that are illogical are really hard for me to enjoy. I get annoyed and I canít relax into the story because Iím so distracted by the flaws. But other times, the problems just donít seem to get in my way, and that was really the case with Reign of Fire.
In short, itís kinda silly, but itís also a heck of a lot of fun. And, since I know you are going to ask, Iíll just come out and tell you that I also thoroughly enjoyed Bale in this flick, and realized halfway through that the difference was all about his accent. I think the reason he makes me nuts in all his other movies is that American accent he so often does Ė it makes him hold his mouth funny and both sound and LOOK funny, as though heís trying to force the words out through a throat full of marbles.
But here, heís speaking in his natural voice, and though his mouth was also partially covered by facial hair, I just never found anything about him distracting at all (well, you know, except for his naked torso ó that was kind of distracting, I will confess. Mrrrrrowl!).
Whatís more, I finally started to understand why it is you guys all love him so much. I was thoroughly charmed by Bale in this movie, and though Iím still nowhere close to wanting to make him a Boyfriend of the Week, I do suddenly find myself giving the idea a little more consideration. If you guys have any other favorite Bale movies in which he uses his natural accent instead of the American one, post them in comments and Iíll be sure to check them out soon.
All in all, major thumbs up for me on this one, and I thank you guys for finally talking me into giving it a try, because I truly had a great time chilliní out with the fire-breathing beasts this weekend. Yahoo!