Reign Of Fire DVD (Just For The Hell of It)
A really “Marmite” of a film, this post-apocalyptic dragon yarn delivers a nice slice of B-Movie fare, though its character-based rather than balls to the wall attitude to storytelling seems to infuriate many.
After the opening sequence, in which a young boy called Quinn witnesses not only the death of his mother, but also the reawakening of the dragon race, we are told, rather than shown, the fiery aftermath.
The initial destruction of human civilization by the dragon hordes is illustrated through less than visually stunning means. Newspaper cuttings and narration, by a now grown up Quinn (Bale), provide us with this back-story, which seems to annoy many who watch the film, but I liked this approach.
It was probably done for budgetary rather than stylistic reasons, but I prefer this almost distant story-telling aspect, it makes the film feel very much like a fantasy film, with Quinn recanting the tale like a bard in a tavern would do. It is something he and other adults do throughout the film for the younger survivors in their community, who are all holed up in an old castle in Northumbria. At one point, in a great scene, Quinn and Creedy (Butler) reenact The Empire Strikes Back for a group of enthralled children. It always makes me smile, that bit.
This extremely English, just get on with it, keep your chin up attitude is thrown into disarray by the arrival of a very American American.
The jacked-up and apparently mental Denton Van Zan (McConaughey) and his heavily armed Kentucky Irregulars rumble up to the gates, with Van Zan’s overwhelming charisma and self-confidence initially winning over Quinn, before an impressive display of actual dragon slaying gets everyone else on side.
Everything seems fine and dandy and there is hope once again, until Van Zan’s questionable recruitment methods and a fiery act of dragon vengeance forces Quinn to abandon his “we just have to outlast them” attitude and face the creatures that killed his mother head on.
I really enjoy Reign of Fire. I love the interplay between Quinn and Van Zan, and the action sequences, when they do happen, are very exciting, the helicopter/skydivers versus dragon one is particular a great stand out. The feeling that I am watching a medieval fantasy story told with a sci-fi twist, rather like something like Star Wars, also really ups my enjoyment too.
You could do much worse than check Reign of Fire out. It really is great fun, has some great acting talent in it, and Denton Van Zan must be one of the best action film characters ever. The film does have a very misrepresentative trailer, which seems to portray it as a balls out action-er, rather than then the often rather slow-moving feature that it is, something that I remember working against it when it was originally released. Give the film a chance, and you might be pleasantly surprised.
Posted on November 14, 2011, in DVD Review, Film Review, Just For The Hell Of It and tagged Christian Bale, Dragons, DVD, fantasy, Gerard Butler, Izabella Scorupco, matthew mcconaughey, Reign of Fire, Rob Bowman. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.