Reign Of Fire (Blu-ray)
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|Contributor||Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Rob Bowman, Gerard Butler, Izabella Scorupco|
|Runtime||1 hour and 42 minutes|
Matthew McConaughey (U-571) and Christian Bale (Captain Corelli's Mandolin) star in an explosive action-packed adventure with bone-charring special effects that will have you glued to your seat! When a London tunnelling project uncovers an unearthly fire-breathing beast from centuries of slumber, all hell breaks loose. Twelve-year-old Quinn (Bale) sees his mother, one of the workers, die trying to escape this new terror. Twenty years later as a "fire chief", he tries to keep a group of refugees alive with fierce dragons dominating the air, burning the land, and feeding on the ash. Unexpectedly, Van Zan (McConaughey), a hotshot American militia leader, shows up with a ragtag group of slayers on a perilous crusade to hunt down and destroy the beasts. Tempers flare when there is a struggle for leadership - until both men realise only one species is getting out of this alive.
- Language : English
- Product dimensions : 1.4 x 13.5 x 17 cm; 80 Grams
- Item Model Number : R15490
- Director : Rob Bowman
- Media Format : Blu-ray
- Run time : 1 hour and 42 minutes
- Release date : 8 August 2007
- Actors : Gerard Butler, Izabella Scorupco, Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey
- Studio : The Walt Disney Company Australia Pty Ltd
- ASIN : B0012HEFBU
- Country of origin : Australia
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Running Time: 98 Minutes.
1)Matthew McConaughey's character appears 30 minutes into the film & apparently stayed in character throughout filming (bet he was fun to be around).
2)The play Quinn & Creedy perform for the children is the film Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
3)Director Rob Bowman directing credits include many X-Files episodes including the feature film & Daredevil spin off movie Elektra.
4) Budget $60 million - Box Office Gross US $82.15 million.
5) Matthew McConaughey gets top billing despite only featuring in a supporting role as the movie main focus dwells on the Quinn (Christian Bales) character.
In present-day London, twelve-year-old Quinn watches as his mother, a construction engineer, inadvertently wakes an enormous fire-breathing beast from its centuries-long slumber killing her & is set free upon the world.
20 years later, much of the world has been scarred by the beast & its offspring. As a fire chief, Quinn is responsible for warding off the beasts & keeping a community alive as they live out a meagre existence until the arrival of a hotshot American named Van Zan who claims he can kill the beasts & save mankind in a way Quinn's never seen done.
'Reign Of Fire' in my opinion is a very underrated & often overlooked action movie starring Christian (Batman) Bale, Matthew McConaughey's & Gerard Butler which sees mankind become virtually extinct as fire breathing dragons now dominate the world & have virtually reduced planet Earth to a cinder.
The movie opens in present-day London with a young Quinn witnessing the rebirth of the race of dragons, who supposedly wiped out the dinosaurs & now set about ravaging the world once again, skip forward 20 yrs & the remnants of humanity cower in enclaves while fire-breathing dragons prowl the barren wasteland while Quinn (Christian Bale) now commands a castle in Northumberland, trying to preserve the last remnants of humanity.
Enter dragonslayer Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) a battle scarred warrior intent on tracking down & destroying the dragon king who quickly clashes with Quinns way of running things, can these two radically different men put aside there differences & work together in slaying the dragon king?
Christian Bale gives a excellent performance as Quinn, the films main hero who tries to protect his community the best way he knows how & brings heart, emotion & even hope to the Quinn character despite witnessing the death of his mother, Quinn genuinely cares for his community which makes for a refreshing change from the usual cliché dark, depressing moody survivor route that many post apocalypse movies go down.
Matthew McConaughey adds a dark layer of intensity in his slightly OTT performance as Van Zan, a shaved head, brawny tattooed arms bad ass who is the complete opposite to Quinn, Zan is a battle scarred warrior obsessed with hunting down & killing the dragon lord & will kill anyone who stands in his way, the chemistry between Bale & McConaughey is good & the film does well balancing out two different points of view & builds to a very physical intense fight scene between these two characters.
Lending acting support is former Bond girl Izabella Scorupco as Alex Jensen, Van Zan's helicopter pilot who quickly develops feelings for Quinn, Alice Krige cameos in a small role as young Quinn's mum while Gerard Butler does well as Creedy, Quinns best friend & right hand man, Rob Bowmans direction is solid & he certainly knows how to build up suspense & create interesting character drama, the dragon CGI effects are convincingly good & there appearances make for some intense action scenes that spectacularly entertain.
Flaws?, only a couple, Van Zans character isn't nearly as well fleshed out like Quinn & for the most part all we actually see is a borderline lunatic who wants to kill dragons even at the cost of human life, it would've been better for the character had we had a bit more backstory to what has pushed Van Zan over the edge & while we do get a few hints it's never really expanded upon & while the action sequences are good were once again limited to PG-13 violence which means the film is toned down to what gore can be seen, this film would've fared better as a R' rated movie as the overall tone is dark & bleak so why not go make a film for mature audiences for a change instead of pampering to the teen adolescent market.
Overall, 'Reign Of Fire' is a firestorm of entertaining action/adventure which is surprisingly emotional driven by good performances from the cast, Rob Bowmans direction packs a punch with his excellently directed dragon attack sequences from that still hold up today & while it's not quite the spectacle it could've been it's emotional impact & superior acting makes it stand out among other action films of this genre & one that I recommend checking out.
It's one of those films that has a reputation, or internet rating, that's difficult to pin down as to how true to form they are. Reign of Fire without a doubt has a premise that's actually better than the film ultimately is. There is scope there for a big budgeted sequel/prequel or certainly for another big summer popcorn blockbuster where dragons rule the Earth. Bowman's film, I believe, was let down badly by the publicity junket that accompanied it. The trailers promised untold delights of dragons fighting mankind, dueling with helicopters and laying siege to man at his most vulnerable. The posters suggested a sky lit up by fire as London comes under attack by a number of winged beasties, the artwork stunning in its presentation. Sadly, as those who have seen the film can attest, neither promise is met, thus expectation levels were never going to be met. So is the low internet rating, and indifferent critical opinions, calling it on its own terms?
Entering with a low expectation does help one to enjoy the film more on a first viewing, definitely, but a repeat viewing also improves the film no end on account of just enjoying the look, feel and characterisations at work. Yes we are still hungry for more dragon attacks, in fact just one sequence of an army of dragons attacking would have been nice, but this is still a gritty little fantasy working well within its budgetary restrictions. The lead players are good value, Bale is grizzled and buffed, putting some quality emotional pathos into Quinn in the process, while McConaughey is on full tilt overdrive excess as the battle hardened Van Zan. You can call it ham or cheese if you like, but McConaughey is having a good time, and the film, and its delicious premise, calls for such a fun and blunderbuss character. While Scorupco and Butler hold their respective ends up well enough. There's a lack of depth in the community characters, so a problem there as it renders the film practically a three pronged piece, while as bizarre as it may sound, the dragons too have no background for us to be involved with as they go about their search for human food.
What action is here, and there's enough to appease the average thrill seeker, is well put together by Bowman (X-Files film and series). Again it helps to realise the budget afforded the film severely restricts the options, but he does well in the singular dragon/man confrontations, with a great finale between our heroes and old daddy dragon well worth the price of a rental. While one extended sequence involving "Ark Angel" soldiers freefalling from the sky is an adrenalin fuelled crowd pleaser. The look, too, is good value, where Adrian Biddle washes out the colours from the photography to create the classic apocalyptic look; where this of course then benefits the shots of the dragon's fire breath, scorching the screen to dazzle the eyes. Clearly it could have been better, but it still comes out far better than many other bigger budgeted action/fantasy movies. Set expectation level at medium, or give the film another chance, and you may find it gets in and does a good job of entertaining you for just over an hour and half. 7/10
Regarding the film itself, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I usually like Christian Bale's character acting and again he puts himself into it fully as a slightly detached battle weary father figure for a community of would be survivors. I didn't relate to Matthew McNoughty's character but it fitted well into the film. There was a good balance of character portrayal to bring you into the bleak outlook these people face and thankfully this was not a movie with dragons flying around everywhere simply because they could and because all the CGI design and texture mapping had been done. They were instead used sparingly to drive the story on. Although most complaints in these reviews are about a lack of dragons, I think that if there were many more scenes of swooping dragon flight or fire breathing to satisfy those wanting inane CGI, the film would get even more negative reviews because of it. If you want frantic action of men fighting "monsters" with great CGI rapid sequence effects to feast your eyes / distract you from the plot then I would recommend any of the Transformers movies instead!!
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