Newest Reviews
Wu Kong
Kindred, The
Death of Stalin, The
Because of the Cats
Borsalino & Co.
Dragon Chronicles: The Maidens of Heavenly Mountains
Female Fight Club
Fateful Findings
Transformers: The Last Knight
Foreigner, The
Clones, The
Monster Hunt
Happy End
Ugly American, The
Ritual of Evil
Vigilante Diaries
Happy Death Day
You Can't Stop the Murders
Legend of the Mountain
Man: The Polluter
Wolf Warrior II
Journey to the Seventh Planet
Ghost Story, A
Lady in the Lake
Devil at Your Heels, The
Paddington 2
Two Jakes, The
Newest Articles
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
  Reign of Fire Here Be DragonsBuy this film here.
Year: 2002
Director: Rob Bowman
Stars: Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco, Gerald Butler, Scott Moutter, David Kennedy, Alexander Siddig, Alice Krige
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Rating:  5 (from 4 votes)
Review: When Quinn (Christian Bale) was a little boy, he witnessed the uncovering of a huge, hidden cave beneath London, which unfortunately contained a massive dragon. Now Quinn is a man, and a plague of dragons have ravaged the planet, bringing destruction to the cities and forcing the last surviving people to live in terror in the countryside. It looks as if there is no hope until one day, visitors arrive at Quinn's encampment - visitors from America... with big guns.

This unlikely fantasy was scripted by Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka and Matt Greenberg. It offers a land that has been blasted back into the Middle Ages by mythical creatures who breathe fire and pick off the remaining humans one by one. The tone is grim and earnest throughout, matched by the grey photography and convincingly ruined landscapes.

Quinn is a kind of medieval king, living in his castle stronghold and doing his best to harvest meagre crops for his people. There is a mix of old and new here, because he also has various vehicles, dragon protection suits and a radio. When Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) turns up with his small army, the contrast between the impoverished Brits and American technological know-how is accentuated, leaving both groups to forge a special relationship, as it were, while they quarrel about how to beat the monsters.

Bale and McConaughey may not seem like the most obvious of action heroes, but by adopting gruff mannerisms and growing beards, they manage to win you over. I'm not a big fan of CGI, but the special effects here are excellent, with the dragons (who helpfully turn up one at a time) being particularly effective. Plentiful action sequences, such as the skydiving trap, help the story zip along at a fair old pace.

Reign of Fire may only have one idea, but the novelty is sustained throughout the running time. What it really needed was a sequence featuring an army of dragons facing an army of people, but they do well enough with the budget they have to turn in a good second division blockbuster with an original and carefully rendered post-apocalyptic world. But where did the survivors get the fuel and ammunition from? Watch for: the re-enactment of The Empire Strikes Back. Music by Ed Shearmur.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3873 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Rob Bowman  (1960 - )

American TV director and producer who worked on Star Trek TNG and The X Files before directing the movie version of the latter. Followed it up with dragon adventure Reign of Fire and comic book spin-off Elektra.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Jason Cook
Paul Shrimpton
  Jony Clark
  The Elix


Last Updated: