Reign of Fire | Chicago Reader

Reign of Fire

An odd cross between Mad Max and Dragonheart, this movie is all borrowed ideas, but it's still trashy fun. Dragons uncovered by a subway digging project rapidly breed and take over the earth, overwhelming humans and their technology and forcing the few survivors into a medieval existence—dark stone forts, subsistence gardening, tastefully ragged linen wardrobes. Christian Bale, the leader of a ragtag group of mostly orphans, does a nice job of looking into the distance with a furrowed brow, and Matthew McConaughey is over-the-top as an ultratough American soldier with a plan for killing the dragons. Director Rob Bowman (The X-Files) is still excessively fond of shining lights directly into the camera, and he doesn't know how to maintain suspense over the long haul. But despite the hasty editing and obvious script holes, the action sequences are pretty entertaining. 133 min.

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