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reign-of-fire_000This movie is spectacular… spectacularly bad that is. The year is twenty years from today. Fire-breathing dragons have taken over the world, destroying everything in their wake, leaving just a few iron-willed survivors who live a primitive lifestyle, have become very muscular and apparently like to take off their shirts when they work. Their leader, Quinn (Christian Bale) is a moral, principled man who just wants to protect his extended family from the dragons and lead a decent life inside his castle. This utopian dream is upset one day when Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) shows up at his front gate. Van Zan is a buff American Dragon Slayer who says things like “Let’s rock and roll!” when going into battle with the fire-breathing demons; the kind of guy who pours testosterone on his Wheaties in the morning. With veins popping and eyes bulging McConaughey chews every bit of scenery in sight, sometimes threatening to bite clean through the screen and assail the audience. Bale struggles to turn Quinn into ssomething more than a cardboard character, and as a result never achieves the over-the-top quality of McConaughey. Reign of Fire was directed by Rob Bowman, best known for helming The X-Files on television. He knows a thing or two about how to create a foreboding atmosphere, but his action sequences fall flat. The battle scenes are over-edited to the point where the viewer can’t tell who is who and what they are doing. It dulls impact of the scene when you can’t really tell what is happening on the screen. If you find pumped-up and shirtless heroes entertaining you might like Reign of Fire. If not, stay home and rent Dragonslayer instead.

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