I remember when I first saw the poster for this film, I thought “Holy Crap! That looks awesome.” There are pictures of dragons fighting helicopters over London and it looked like this great mix-up of fantasy and reality. Reign of Fire IS a mixture of fantasy/reality, however it just doesn’t have the budget to quite deliver on the promise of the poster. It’s still a fun movie though and is arguably the best role Matthew McConaughey has done. He’s a buffed up, batshit crazy dragon slayer who basically starts having dick measuring contests with Christian Bale’s character “Quinn”.  Quinn is the leader and protector of a small band of survivors in a post apocalyptic future ravaged by dragons.

It sounds ridiculous and it is, but it works. Mostly because it’s played utterly serious as if this could actually happen. This was the plan of director Rob Bowman who said in an interview that he wanted to come up with the most ridiculous idea and make it serious.

The entire cast are fantastic and we even have Gerard Butler in a role as Quinn’s best friend. There is a great scene where Butler and Bale are telling a story to the kids, which may bare a resemblance to a certain film where an Empire decides to Strike Back. The scene is one of the few moments of levity in an otherwise serious and gritty film… about dragons.

Bale rocks as Quinn and although he’s tough as nails, he has a good heart and wants the best for his small band of survivors. When Matthew McConaughey shows up, tempers flare and Quinn is faced with a decision: to continue hiding from the monsters or go to London and destroy the daddy. Guess which one he chooses?

The film moves at a great pace and has some of the best visual effects I’ve seen in a long time; the dragons look fantastic and are the best I’ve ever seen on screen. They are terrifying monsters which are mixtures of lizards, birds and leopards according to the filmmakers. Reign of Fire manages to be a truly original concept and it would fail if it wasn’t made utterly believable by the cast.

I think they made the best possible film they could with the meagre budget, but I often wonder what the film would have looked like if they’d  put some real money behind it. The visual aesthetic makes the world looked utterly scorched and you believe that this is all very real.

The music score does the job but it’s pretty forgettable and lacks any real theme tune.

Overall, Reign of Fire is a silly concept, executed extremely well. The cast are great and rarely will you see Matthew McConaughey be a cigar chomping badass. Definitely worth checking out if you want to watch something a little different.




About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel

I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it’s a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.