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Sci-Fi - Dystopian Future

Reign of Fire (2002)

Duration1h 41m
RatingsUK: 12, USA: PG-13, Denmark: 15
Source of storyAn original screenplay
DirectorRob Bowman
Writers/ScriptGregg Chabot, Kevin Petrka, Matt Greenberg
StarringChristian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Alice Krige
RatingsIMDb: 6.2/10 by 140,000 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 42% by 173 reviewers. Review2view: 5.5/10.

Summary: A tunnelling job for the Metro in London disturbs a hibernating dragon, which incinerates the workers and escapes to the surface, witnessed by a boy, Quinn who also sees his mother killed by the beast. Years later the dragons have taken over the world and humans survive in pockets one of them being a group led by Quinn in Northumberland, UK. The Quinn group are managing just by keeping their heads down, and there are indications that the dragons, now short of food will go back into hibernation. However, unexpectedly, a group of Americans arrive in a collection of armoured vehicles, with a helicopter and their leader, Denton Van Zan, has a technique for overcoming the dragons. They also suggest that all the dragons killed are female and that there is only one male, which, if disposed of, will free the world. Quinn, Van Zan and Alex the helicopter pilot depart to London where they think they will find the male. Will they succeed?

Content: No sex or nudity. The first dragon is seen escaping from its hibernation. The Northumberland group have problems with food, and when some go out to harvest tomatoes they are caught by a dragon and incinerated. Once the American arrive, Van Zan riding on a tank, there is a lot of shouting and some fighting. Their technique for killing the dragons is seen in operation, with some fatalities. Dragons are seen flapping about, some being killed with a modified harpoon gun. Once the trio depart for London there is a prolonged set piece as they battle with the male dragon.

A View: I quite like dragons, but the premise here is so loony that I felt that they had got a bad deal. For a start, how could they possibly have taken over the world if there is only one male dragon able to service the increasing number of females. And even if he could, the ability of the reptiles to breath fire would surely be insufficient for them to overcome the combined air forces of the planet. And even if that had been possible how had Van Zan’s helicopter survived. It is one of those films which you might have on, for nothing, while doing something else. Just don’t try to make sense of it.

Christian Bale has done a lot of stuff, starting when he was a teenager. Three of his outings reviewed on this site, selected at random have been Hostiles, The Big Short and Le Mans ’66.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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