Master explorer Dirk Pitt goes on the adventure of a lifetime of seeking out a lost Civil War battleship known as the "Ship of Death" in the deserts of West Africa while helping a WHO doctor being hounded by a ruthless dictator.
In a future where the polar ice-caps have melted and Earth is almost entirely submerged, a mutated mariner fights starvation and outlaw "smokers," and reluctantly helps a woman and a young girl try to find dry land.
In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn Abercromby witnesses the awakening of a hibernating dragon from a centuries-long slumber, the result of a construction dig supervised by his mother and an incident for which Quinn feels partially responsible. Twenty years later, the adult Quinn (Christian Bale) is the fire chief of a refortified castle community, responsible for dousing the blazes lit by the dragon's prodigious number of flame-spewing offspring, airborne juggernauts that have wreaked havoc across the globe, torching civilization and turning humans into an endangered species. Hope arrives in the form of Denton "Dragon Slayer" Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), an American known to be the only man to ever kill one of the dragons, and Alex (Izabella Scorupco), a scientist/pilot who's a member of Van Zan's army, a zealous fighting force that includes a secret weapon: the Archangels, paratroopers using themselves as bait to attract and then dispatch the deadly beasts.
In an interview with the AV Club in 2015, Alexander Siddig (Ajay) said, "The only thing I remember about that was the first day. The first A.D. came into the trailer where we were all having our makeup and shit done, and he was, like 'Guys, I need your attention, please.' And we were, like 'Yeah?' And he said, 'Um, Mr. McConaughey's gonna arrive on set in about 15 minutes, and I have to give you a directive - which comes from the producers - that you are not to call him 'Matthew' or 'Mr. McConaughey' or anything to do with his real life. You must call him Van Zan.' Van Zan was his character name. 'And even if you meet him outside in the road, even if you meet him out in town in Dublin,' where we were shooting this movie, 'You must call him Van Zan.' And that is exactly what I remember about that movie, because as that first A.D. left the building, I shouted - rather lamely - 'And he's got to call me Elvis!' But he didn't call me Elvis. In fact, he didn't call me anything!" See more »
The harpoon gun that Van Zan uses to bring down the dragon attacking the castle has a bent targeting reticle when we see it from the point-of-view shot as it is fired. However, when we see the gun from the reverse angle, as Van Zan mounts it, the same targeting reticle is a perfect circle. See more »
Good morning, Quinn. How's is going mate.
What's up, guys.
Working the late shift, are ya?
Ha! Someone's got to clean up after you guys.
See more »
`Reign of Fire' is a no-more-than-passable sci-fi monster movie, strong on production values and special effects and weak on just about everything else. Once again we have the typical gray-and-khaki hued post-apocalyptic world filled with burnt out cities, roaming bands of grimy-faced survivors, and enough soot, dirt and rust to make the audience feel the need for a shower once they get out of the theatre (in other words, the `Mad Max' look).
The apocalypse in this case comes in the form of a race of fire-breathing dragons that are awakened from their millennia-long state of dormancy thanks to a deep-drilling construction project in downtown London. We are told that these ash-eating dragons hibernate for eons at a time waiting for the earth to replenish itself before embarking on another mission of total bio-global destruction. This is, in fact, the explanation for the demise of the dinosaurs, though, if this were indeed the case, one might question just how this species managed to so completely avoid leaving any evidence of its existence in the fossil record. In this kind of movie, it is probably best not to ask questions of this sort and to just go along with the sheer inanity of it all.
The first specimen to be unleashed is discovered by a young London lad named Quinn Abercrombie who, 18 years later, has grown up to be the hunky Christian Bale, leader of a group of survivors holed up in a kind of mountainside fortress with very little hope for a future. That is, of course, until one fateful day when `Dragon Slayer' Denton Van Dan (Matthew McConaughey) makes his sooty-faced appearance. From then on it becomes a battle of the minds and muscles between these two strong-willed individuals who have decidedly different ideas about how best to ensure the survival of the human race.
Movies like `Reign of Fire' pretty much preclude any real critical analysis. Suffice it to say that the special effects and art direction are quite impressive throughout, the dialogue bland and purely functional, and the performances adequate to the admittedly rather unchallenging task. And the characters are at least allowed to show their human side at times, displaying various amounts of fear, uncertainty and emotional vulnerability even at those moments when they are having to be at their most daring and heroic. There is one truly inspired scene in which two of the adults beguile the children by acting out the Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader `I am your father' confrontation scene from `The Empire Strikes Back.' More clever moments like that would have helped make `Reign of Fire' a more distinctive film than it currently is.
Oh well, if nothing else, the theatre-shaking soundtrack is enough to keep you awake, if not exactly interested, at all times. But cranking up the volume is often the first indication that a movie has very little else to offer.
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