johnlink ranks REIGN OF FIRE (2002)

The Dragon well is a lightly drawn from pool for the movie industry. Not that we need many (or even one) every year. I imagine that for someone hardcore into dragon lore, this movie might be a favorite. It’s nothing special on face value, but it’s one of the more decent entries in its niche genre.

I watched REIGN OF FIRE (2002) on 4.10.12. It was my third viewing of the film, and first in probably seven or eight years.

The first act of this movie is really good. The initial dragon reveal is nicely done, and the establishment of the world a couple of decades later is well realized. I love seeing Christian Bale and a pre-famous Gerard Butler playing best friends enacting STAR WARS for a bunch of little kids. The post-apocalytpic world looks good, with this particular group of survivors living in a castle in England.  The introduction of the American military is executed well-enough. As this launches into the second act, all the pieces are in place.

Unfortunately, the script falls apart in this movie, and it is too bad because the effort is there in all the other arenas. The movie looks good, with decent enough CGI for the right effect and a solid aesthetic putridity sprawling across the landscape. The acting is pretty good, with enough levity to not make this a dirge. Even some of the set-ups for the action pieces are nicely done. But the movie is trapped by its desire to not be too big, yet to tell a complete story.

In order to achieve that, the story goes that there is only one male dragon to thousands and thousands of females. Kill the male, and the dragons die out. PLus, they want to make sure that dragon only fights the three leads in the climax: Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Izabella Scorupco. In order to this, they have to eliminate a whole lot of people quickly, negating much of the build the movie had going. The structure of this thing is just off.

The acting, the feel of the movie, the enjoyment of the proceedings… these aspects are all hurt by the poor script, yet the pluses do manage to overcome the negatives in order to not be a complete failure of a movie. Or perhaps I’m just saying that because I saw that train wreck called SALT the other day…





~ by johnlink00 on April 11, 2012.

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