Reign of Fire [2002]

Director: Rob Bowman
Stars: Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco, Benny Nieves, Alexander Siddig
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 102 minutes

The Road Warrior meets Dragonslayer in the briskly entertaining post-apocalyptic action thriller Reign of Fire. Reign of Fire exists primarily to give us a bigger and better dragon than the Vermithrax Pejorative of 1981's classic Dragonslayer, and in that regard, the special effects are mightily impressive; the reptilian fire-breathers are stupendously convincing. While the earlier film offers a richer, more whimsical medieval adventure, Reign of Fire is a fast-moving tale of man versus dragon that takes place in the charred England of 2020, after Earth has been scorched by rapidly multiplying dragons and the aftermath of a futile nuclear counterstrike. Mixing high-tech gadgetry with primitive survivalism, X-Files alumnus Rob Bowman makes the most of his midlevel budget, establishing a lavish castle base for the rugged, adversarial teaming of Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey as dragonslayers on the brink of extinction. With a steady supply of crowd-pleasing highlights, Reign of Fire is a pyrotechnical treat. --Jeff Shannon

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