'Reign' entertains with eye-candy
By Christian Schmidt
The Daily Cougar
Reign of Fire is a hard movie not to like. It delivers exactly what
its trailers promised. Dragons, superb special effects, and a post-apocalyptic
vision with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Izabella Scorupco running
The audience is presented with a world destroyed. Dragons, who ages
ago killed off the dinosaurs, have returned.
The huge fliers create liquid fire, the famed dragonbreath. They feed
on the ashes of what they destroy.
The dragons have gone from one to millions in just ten years or so,
and have made the entire planet one huge ashtray.
A few scattered enclaves still contain people, including one in North
Umberland, England, led by Quinn (Christian Bale). Quinn, and a few dozen
people he has taken in, inhabit an ancient castle, using salvaged guns
They have made a small garden where they grow their food, a green oasis
in a sea of burned rock.
McConaughey and Bale are cast as opposites.
Bale's character, Quinn, is a tall, lean British man — a rangy wolf
desperately trying to protect his people from the dragons, hoping that
will starve themselves to death in a few years.
McConaughey plays the American Van Zan, the pit bull to Bale's wolf.
He seems short next to Bale, full of rippling muscle and American rage,
to pounce at a moment's notice. McConaughey's plan is to attack the
single male dragon, a beast of monumental proportions that makes its home
A question arises. Does Bale's character actually think his people can
survive, or is he just too afraid to return to fight the male dragon, the
awoke, the dragon that killed his mother? The ending, easily the best
scene in the movie, answers this question and decides the fate of the human
Bale is not only one of the most attractive actors in movies today,
he's also one of the most talented.
His work in films like American Psycho, Shaft, and A Midsummer Night's
Dream has been critically acclaimed, though most of his films have not
been huge box office successes.
With this movie, Bale is making a change and moving toward roles that
will make him a household name.
McConaughey is solid, if unspectacular, in a role that doesn't give
him room to spread his wings. And that's OK. McConaughey is a great supporting
actor (special praise should also go to his personal trainer).
Izabella Scorupco, the Italian siren who starred opposite Pierce Brosnan
in Goldeneye, does a good job as Van Zan's helicopter pilot, even giving
convincing American accent.
The movie was filmed primarily in Ireland, and the forbidding landscape
is both beautiful and tragic, and also perfectly suited for the film.