Reign of Fire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Reign of Fire Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 26, 2012
Anyone for dragons? a scorched earth where humanity is almost extinct and small bands of survivors scrape along day by day eeking out some form of life in a desolate barren world. The only leaders left to keep the pitiful human morsels alive are 'Batman', 'King Leonidas' and a bald tattooed Texan.

And thus the premise for 'Reign of Fire' is born, like a phoenix from the flames, like the one true ring from the searing heat of Mount Doom, like...I'm going overboard aren't I?. So yeah, totally cool movie title and a wicked idea no doubt, the problem being the final execution of the entire film.

An apocalyptic 'Mad Max' type future with a pocket of human wastrels holed up in an old castle in the north of England. An American ego joins the team (love how the yanks always butt in on a war hehe even in the future!) and together they all fight dragons, only problem is we don't see much of the dragons!. Of course there is dragon action but its few and far between and even then you don't see the dragons too much.
On one hand hiding the beasts does add more mystery and suspense, I can see that notion. But on the other hand we all know what dragons look like and what they do, there's really no need to hide them in the shadows ala Ridley Scott's 'Alien'. End of the day a dragon is a dragon and to be completely honest they aren't that scary, more mythical and fun really, like unicorns.

Other issues with the film is how utterly grey and dull it all looks, so very unexciting. Sure its an apocalyptic world set up north in a sea of ash but lets try make it somewhat visually thrilling for the viewer. The characters are all rather generic and somewhat annoying also, you kinda want to see them get eaten half the time. Bale has his stupid mockney accent again and just shouts all the time, Butler's character just seems pointless and you just know he's gonna end up crispy dragon meat, but McConaughey is more intriguing as the obvious 'Captain Ahab' with muscles and tattoo's.

Other than those three everyone else is unimportant and you couldn't care a less whether they live or die. Although seeing more folk getting baked or eaten by dragons is sorely missing here.

I also recall when this film came out that everyone was half expecting to see epic battles between helicopter gunships and dragons over the skies of London. Why you ask? because the films poster had that rather neat design advertising the fact. So it was disappointing not to see any of that, also disappointing not to see any real epic dragon fights a tall, just lots of flying dragons at a distance, roars, silhouettes and shadows. We finally get to see the big male properly at the end but only seconds before it gets killed, what's the point of that!?.

The whole concept is good and there are some nice moments in the film. The whole team effort of trying to kill a dragon by the Americans is quite fun to watch if somewhat ridiculous. Would you really do all that just to try and kill a dragon if you had a helicopter, lots of guns and a tank? surely you just blast it when its close by, its a pretty big target. Is the skydiving with nets really necessary? I still fail to see how that would even work, which it doesn't in the film haha. Also are dragons immune to bullets or something?? again surely a few good shots in the head, eye, legs or leg joints would at some point bring it down?, meh what do I know eh.

This film is a semi decent fantasy flick and it is fun but its just not as good as it can be. You get the impression there is an epic visual treat lurking which hasn't been fully realised. You can't even say its a good B-movie as the film had a big budget and was suppose to be a blockbuster, it did OK though.

Not bad but really lacking some punch. All I can think of whilst watching is how I could of done things differently to make the film more thrilling and in your face exciting. It just feels like such a wasted chance for a truly rip roaring fantasy, McConaughey's character just about saves the film really, without him it would of been totally dry. He goes down in epic glory too which was cool.

Final heat/fire pun...this film was definitely not as hot as it could have been, zing!.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2006
In a world razed to the ground by a plague of dragon like creatures, a motley crew of survivors decide to strike back and hunt the sole male of the species. I'd love to have sat in on the pitch to the studio for this movie! "Well, you see, they're digging a tunnel for the London underground, and they, like, unearth these dragons that have been living there since the dawn of time..." The whole premise is of course absolutely ridiculous, but this B-movie creature feature was given the A-list treatment and what emerges is a reasonably entertaining monster mash. Some great effects and a good eye from Rob Bowman who uses the dark, flames and cinders to great atmospheric effect make for a very nice looking film, all set in some nice gothic landscapes of desolate wastelands, castles and destroyed cities. A quality cast also certainly helps, with a typically intense Christian Bale aided by the usually hateful Matthew McConaughey who is actually pretty amusing as the shaven headed, bare chested ball of testosterone who rides into town straddled across his enormous phallus ("There's only one thing worse than dragons. Americans."!) It also has a couple of really well handled action sequences, but at the same time it never quite recovers from the fact that the idea it's all built upon is so damn silly. It really could have done with a sense of humour, but as a whole it's a Road Warrior/Jaws hybrid that's pretty entertaining if you can make it past the whole dragons vs, helicopters concept.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2010
What could one possibly say about this movie, its about Matthew McConauhey slaying dragons need I say more? Poor Christian Bale
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2010
A fun, energetic adventure story concerning an apocalyptic wasteland occupied by dragons who have taken over London and the survivors (led by Bale) who plot to take them out. Just a great B-movie with a testosterone filled performance from McConaghey and an impressive one from the always dependable Bale. The ending face-off is all kinds of awesome.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
It was an interesting concept that was lost to some bad acting and special effects. The dragons looked fake and Matthew Mcconaughey put in an overdone performance that was hard to watch. Christian Bale couldn't even save this from being horrible, which must've been hard.
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2009
It was a very good movie but the cinematography and camera really sucked, still very good movie with great actors to go along with it. It is twenty years in the future, and the planet has been devastated by vicious fire-breathing dragons. The last vestiges of humanity now struggle for survival in at remote ouposts. In a ruined castle in the English countryside, Quinn is desperately trying to hold together a band of frightened, restless survivors. As a boy, Quinn watched his mother die protecting him from one of the beasts, and is still haunted by the memory. One day, a group of American rouges shows up, led by a brash, tough-guy named Van Zam. He claims to have discovered a way to kill the dragons once and for all, and enlists Quinn's help. But doing so will force Quinn to confront his own frightening memories. This, and Quinn's responsibilities to those that are under his protection, results in a battle of wills between the two men. In the end, events cause them both to realize that they must work together to defeat the monsters--both without and within.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2007
this movie is brilliant i like it
Super Reviewer
½ March 25, 2007
Total Guilty Pleasure. Dumb as hell, but seriously Batman and a Naked Bongo playing Stoner vs. a Dragon. Genius
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2008
Dazzling special effects highlight this so-so fantasy adventure about dragons wrecking havoc on England in the year 2020. Movies like this are usually best when they have a sense of irony. Unfortunately this action film lacks a sense of humor and fails to engage.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2006
An over the top non sensical snooze!!!
Super Reviewer
½ July 31, 2008
This was definately a great movie. I liked the beginning very much and found it very effective. I also admire the way the director skipped past the main destruction phase usually shown in movies and went to the after the world panics part. Very good acting from all, especially Bale, McConaughey and Butler.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2008
Despite the film featuring the ever recurring theme of Gungo-ho, brazen Americans coming to the aid of the helpless incapable other peoples of the world (from Dragons this time), it's still a pretty enjoyable movie. For the film to really work the Dragons needed to look convincing, and the CGI teams definitely succeeded in this - they were very well animated and looked realistic. Unlike films in the past where their Dragons had looked too cartoony, "Reign of Fire's" Dragons are given quite a more menacing look to them. It's a shame they don't get enough screen time though.

As Terrifying as the Dragons looked, that ain't nothing compared to Matthew McConaughey's ferocious appearence! He looks seriously kick-ass, and I especially enjoyed Matthew and Christian Bale's fiery rivarly develop through the film, which apparently also continued off-screen too!

Plot may be a bit weak, but it ranks highly on entertainment.
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2008
How do you make a movie about dragon slaying in London boring? That should be the kind of movie that is done almost by itself. And yet they managed to make it damn boring and dull.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2007
For a sci-fi like movie, it's actually pretty good. The plot is written well, but it's the actors who really save the movie. Mainly, Matthew McConaughey.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2007
The best part...Matthew McConaughey - bald, bearded, screaming and jumping off a ruin with a giant axe in a suicide run to kill a dragon.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
Easily the best of the "Dragon-Apocalypse" genre.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
I fell asleep during this movie. Neither Matthew nor Christian could rescue this movie from the flaming pile that it was.
Super Reviewer
July 7, 2007
Men with modern weapons against realistic dragons. It's a very interesting premise and setting. It's a great mix of fantasy and science fiction. I enjoyed.
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2007
So much anticipation, so little enjoyment. Wanted it to be so much better. I've seen it twice more, hoping that it somehow got better since I saw it last.
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