Hi all. Here's my review for Reign of Fire. Hope you like it. (The review and the movie!) Reign of Fire (out of 5) I love monster movies. There’s something about watching human beings get eaten by dragons, rats, bats, or cats that helps me to overlook a B-movie’s more obvious shortcomings. When I started seeing the early scoop on Reign of Fire, I was sure the film would be one of two things: either a really bad but FUN flick, or something on par with Battlefield Earth. Well, Reign of Fire effectively proved me wrong by ending up a pretty damn good movie! Well, whaddaya know? I love being proven wrong in a situation like this! Best described as The Road Warrior meets Dragonslayer, Reign of Fire is an unapologetically kinetic b-movie that features a handful of staggeringly cool dragon sequences and performances from two leading men who know full well the potential silliness of the film they’re in - yet still manage to deliver characters that audiences can take seriously. (The main characters are the backbone of an FX-driven fantasy like this, because if they’re seen as ridiculous – the whole movie will be.) Simply put – if you’re willing to accept the outlandish concept of “futuristic battles between dragons and humans”, you’re halfway to enjoying this slick, dark adventure. And if you’re like me and you went “Oooooooh...” throughout the trailer, odds are you’ll have a real good time with Reign of Fire. Thanks to the newly-awakened dragons and our politician’s ill-fated efforts at dispatching them through nuclear weapons, humans are nearly extinct. The year is 2020, and mankind has been diminished to the point where they’ve taken to hiding out in deserted old castles. It’s in one such fortress that Quinn (Christian Bale) protects one of the last remaining pockets of civilization in Northern England. As the accepted leader, Quinn espouses a lifestyle of simple survival; try to avoid the dragon’s attentions, while dutifully tending to the gardens and young children. The community’s complacency is disrupted with the arrival of a kick-ass crew of crafty commandos, a devoted cadre of ‘dragon hunters’ under command of the violently obsessed Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey). Quinn initially welcomes Van Zan and his platoon into the shelter, but it’s not long before the marines attract some rather hot-tempered attention from a few of the local dragons. After a particularly brutal aerial attack on the castle, Van Zan and his remaining soldiers (along with a few of Quinn’s compatriots) head off to London in an effort to discover the source of the giant murderous lizards. If you’re the sort of movie freak who, like myself, can’t help but nit-pick at various plot holes, Reign of Fire is absolutely rife with ‘em. Where do the marines find fuel for their helicopter? Why is the only female soldier made up in lipstick and eyeliner while every other human in the film is quite literally covered in filth? Why do the dragons only seem to attack in ‘solo’ missions, when a group attack would surely kill a lot more of those pesky humans? There are even more minor script hiccups like this to contend with, but let’s be frank: we’re not talking Hamlet here. Anyone ready to bash a ‘futuristic dragon’ movie for a bushel of minor plot holes probably wasn’t going to enjoy Reign of Fire anyway. Fortunately, there’s more than enough ‘good stuff’ in Reign of Fire to make such unimportant contrivances seem nearly non-existent. If you’re too busy rolling your eyes at the sillier stuff, you’re bound to miss a few fantastic action sequences, a truly creepy and altogether impressive production design, and a lot of flashy CGI effects that actually manage to LOOK like ‘real’ dragons! Director Rob Bowman (The X-Files) obviously realizes that he’s working on a simple ‘popcorn flick’, yet still does everything he can to make Reign of Fire a quality popcorn flick. Bale and McConaughey both acquit themselves well, with Bale’s dedicated father figure a strong counter-point to McConaughey’s rabid commando, and (again) the actors are well aware of the comic-book nature of the film they’re in, and never try to stretch their roles beyond those constraints. Reign of Fire may be dismissed by some as silly ‘high-concept’ demographic programming, but I think any film that offers a NEW concept is immediately worthy of some praise. ‘Futuristic dragons’ may not earn anyone an Oscar nomination, but in a genre littered with insipid sequels, moronic remakes, retarded video-game adaptations, and non-stop superhero revisits, it’s welcome to just see a fresh idea. Sure, it may be a silly idea, but Reign of Fire is, for the most part, a damn good monster movie/action flick that only occasionally delves into unintentional silliness. And even then...you’ll be having such a good time that you’ll hardly even notice. Reign of Fire is precisely the kind of flashy, boisterous adventure flick that turns hyperactive 12-year-olds into lifelong movie freaks. Trust me; I speak from experience.