Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Reign of Fire (2002)

Damn, this movie is smokin'! And I don't just mean because it stars Christian Bale, Gerard Butler and Matthew McConaughey with a big fat cigar in his mouth. No, it's because the dragons are burning the world to smithereens! This probably won't come as a surprise, but I like movies with dragons in them. I like dragons in general. As a child, I read a substantial quantity of dragon-based books, one of which I am still searching for in my current sub-adult stage. It was awesome and like 1300 pages and there were hand-drawn beautiful illustrations and this kid leaves his village and goes to live in this awesome dragon community. So if you think you know what I'm talking about, just give me a shout. Anyway, back to this hunk-studded film. It's pretty amusing. I actually looked up the bio of the director because of his portrayal of McConadouche as this bad-ass, huge, gruff American with terrible grammar and a smoking problem. Compared to the calm and sensitive Brits, I was undecided as to whether the director was mocking Americans with this ridiculously alpha male character. Lo and behold, the director's from Texas. So I guess that explains that. One of my favorite parts about this fine feature is the fact that it combines dragons with a post-apocalyptic future, both topics that I deem intriguing and awesome. And the CGI is not too terrible at all. They explore the scientific world of dragons include sexual dimorphism and plausible fire breathing techniques derived from the study of the spitting cobra and the bombardier beetle. The movie also delves into topics like the politics of small communities, adoption, the practical methods of taking down a giant flying beast, and the comedic reprieve of acting out a classic Star Wars scene. And who says sci-fi/fantasy is useless drivel? Well, there are a lot of impractical parts of the film as well, most of which the critics can't bear not pointing out (oh yeah, double negative): 'Where do they get their fuel? Why don't the children look like they're actually starving to death? Why isn't this movie about dragons hibernating until the 21st century and then reemerging to completely obliterate human society more accurate?' Whatever dude. Live a little. Forging onward...the movie cost about $95 million to make (hence the decent CGI), which I guess it's cool since it made a paltry $43 mill during its theater run. I guess we can only hope that DVD sales were good (can we blame it on 9/11 or the financial crisis? maybe seeing the cities burn wasn't a big turn on in July, 2002.) To it's credit, Reign of Fire was filmed almost entirely in Ireland. There are also rocket launchers, helicopters, paratroopers, ridiculous stunts, Izabella Scorupco (of Goldeneye computer nerd fame), lots of fire and dragons and a good 101 minutes of (literally) smoldering men. That's hawt (too used?). Oh, and the humans win. Hope I didn't spoil it!

Final Judgment: "Scorching and scientific?: It's too good to be true (ohh, that's why Godzilla with Broderick was such a bust...)!!"

PS. I totally recommend reading these "Ruthless Ratings." Ha, weather. That's good.

1 comment:

Ram Peters said...

"So go on and have your little soiree!"