I went into Reign of Fire not knowing what to expect from the movie. I had read several reviews, both mixed, so I really wasn’t sure what kind of movie this was going to be. To be perfectly honest, up until about two months before the film was released last Friday, I had not idea it even existed, which isn’t necessarily a case of bad marketing, just maybe some bad exposure to the consumer. Besides all of the trivial, “What was it going to be like?” questions, I wondered if it could come out from behind Men in Black II’s shadow and hopefully stomp on Tom Hanks’ Road to Perdition.

Reign of Fire was an excellent movie, and one wonders why it didn’t beat out the two movies listed above in the box office, but as my friend Thomas Porter said to me during our screening of the movie on Sunday, “This is sure to be a cult classic.”

So does Reign of Fire have the ability to join the ranks of Pulp Fiction and Army of Darkness as one of the great cult fiction movies of our generation? Yes, in many ways.

The movie focuses on the awakening of a pre-historic dragon species that every couple of thousand years comes out of their slumber to reek havoc upon the world. They caused the extinction of the Dinosaurs, they caused the Ice Ages with the ash that plagued the sky and cooled the planet, they help evolution along in some ways. But when a young boy named Quinn awakens the dominant male of the species it only takes a matter of years before the cities of the Earth are in ruins, and the human species could be the next on the Endangered Species List.

Still many would hear the plot, and think this is your typical post-apocalyptic movie with humans struggling to survive after a nuclear explosion/deadly plague/or undiscovered species (pick one). This isn’t no Waterworld, and Matthew McConaughey is one bad-ass in this movie as Van Zan the leader of an American troop of soldiers who have killed hundreds of these flying beasts. When they learn that it all started in London, they set out on a mission to destroy the dominant male and the species, for good.

While most plot points are predictable, and several overly used theatrical elements are present (like killing a main character), the movie excels past them, and is amazing in the visual department of a very grey, dark world where fire has consumed the planet. Luckily, the use of the dragon special effects were never overused, and there is only a few instances where you actually get a good look at one, and boy do they look pretty.

Reign of Fire is a popcorn movie, but after seeing Men in Black II last week and having some time to reflect upon it, I would have much rather have seen Reign because of the fact this movie has nothing to prove, it is just good story telling and good direction. Excellent movie, excellent cast, makes for an excellent time. Don’t’ miss this one.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!