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Reign of Fire  (2002)

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Alice Krige
Director: Rob Bowman
U.S. Distribution: Touchstone
U.S. Release Date: 7/12/02
Running Time: 1:48
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Logic aside, Reign of Fire is a pretty good idea for a modern monster movie. The Reign begins in modern-day London when a fire-breathing dragon emerges from the Earth, killing just about everyone in sight except for a young Quinn Abercromby, who stares into the eyes of the beast and lives to fight another day.

Some 20 years later, Quinn (Christian Bale) and an American commando (Matthew McConaughey) join forces to try and end the dragons' dominance (and there are now hundreds of thousands of them) over the Earth. As humans scurry like ants into the Earth, one would think the dragons would follow, breathe a little fire and eat them all. But not so.

The nomadic humans dig deeper and deeper, worrying more about starvation and procreation than they are about monsters. That is, until McConaughey and his well-toned band of dragon slayers arrive to show them a new way of life - and new hope for ending the Reign of Fire. Nevermind that the human race and all of its advanced technology were no match for these dragons...

Ahhh, there is the crux of it all. Man will survive - no matter how far-fetched or implausible it might seem.

As far as post-apocalyptic survival adventure sci-fi pics go, director Rob Bowman has made a mostly average movie. One that I enjoyed more than I have let on, but one with many flaws. Now if only Bowman would make a prequel which covered the missing 20 years or so that are only talked about in this film, that might be something.

 "Matthew (McConaughey) is stretching out. His Van Zan (character) is absolutely iconic. He eats his scenes up... I mean, when he crashes that party in the castle... DEAR GOD. If you donít feel shame and utter contempt for every last person partying when heís through... then I repeat Van Zanís last line there, 'You disgust me!' Van Zan is swinging balls against brick walls cool. I mean just an awesome character." (Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News)

 "There are dragons everywhere. Do they only have one male, total, singular? How about those eggs? Any of them male? And also, after the male is dead, presumably all of the females are still alive, and they must be mad as hell now that they're not getting any action. How come they stop attacking?" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

© 2002, Delton Perrodin

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