Reign of Fire

I wasn’t a fan of Reign of Fire when I watched it the first time. I watched it when it first came out on VHS. I was actually all in on the premise until Matthew McConaughey’s character did what was in all the trailers for the movie which ended up being so ridiculous to me that it overshadowed everything else in the movie to me. I wanted to give it a rewatch for a few reasons among them Ryan Hollinger doing a video essay about the movie. My views on the movie have mellowed even if the previously mentioned scene got a chuckle outta me.

Rob Bowman directed Reign of Fire with the screenplay by Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka, and Matt Greenberg based on a story by Chabot and Peterka. I will repeat my mention of the dragon design being wyverns rather than true dragons since this is seemingly the basis that the Game of Thrones designs. I don’t know if the way they breath fire was specifically in the script but it’s interesting. It provided a scientific way of breathing fire. I found it interesting with this rewatch that there are several elements of a western in Reign of Fire.

McConaughey and Christian Bale function as the leads, especially Bale. Bale is who we spend the most time with while McConaughey functions almost like a human antagonist for part of the movie. There’s a shift in the final act when their characters properly work together. Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Scott Moutter, Alice Krige, and David Kennedy are fantastic in their supporting roles. We get hints of Butler’s charisma in his limited screentime.

The CG effects in Reign of Fire look pretty good for a movie that’s twenty years old. Like I mentioned earlier the designs for the wyverns in the movie are the basis for several other “dragons” in other media that has come out since. There are practical effects that look amazing and were a surprise to me. The stunt team was able to accomplish some insane fire stunts throughout the movie. The music by Edward Shearmur, Brad Wagner, Grant Claytor, and Mad at Gravity works well with the movie.

Reign of Fire is an interesting fantasy movie that takes place in a post-apocalyptic Earth that will take you on a ride if you allow it to. The performances by the entire cast help sell the setting. This was another watch that was brought about by it leaving Hulu in the coming days. I give Reign of Fire 6 axes out of 10.

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