Cinema surveillance images are loading at the bottom of the page

Reign of fire

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Fight fire with fire.

In present day London, 12-year-old Quinn watches as his mother, a construction engineer, inadvertently wakes an enormous fire-breathing beast from its centuries-long slumber.

Twenty years later, much of the world has been scarred by the beast and its offspring. Quinn (Christian Bale) is responsible for warding off the beasts and keeping a small community alive as they eke out a meagre existence. Into their midst comes a hotshot American, Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), who says he has a way to kill the beasts and save mankind.

Reign of fire fuses a medieval past with a post-apocalyptic future in this exciting tale of adventure and survival.

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film science fiction dragon fantasy adventure hero fire

Persons of interest

  • Christian Bale .... Quinn
  • Matthew McConaughey .... Van Zan
  • Gerard Butler .... Creedy
  • Izabella Scorupco .... Alex
  • Doug Cockle .... Goosh
  • Scott Moutter .... Jared
  • Benny Nieves .... Alvarez
  • Alexander Siddig .... Ajay
  • Gregg Chabot .... Screenwriter
  • Matt Greenberg .... Screenwriter
  • Zak Penn .... Screenwriter
  • Kevin Peterka .... Screenwriter
  • Rob Bowman .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Rain of fizzle.

The special effects are great. The dragons are great. The flames are great. The plot is hackneyed. The logic is faulty. The acting is hammy.

In a Mad Max-style world, the last remnants of humanity huddle away from the dragons, who have been asleep for the past 100 million years - Hello? Did no-one think that the bodies would've decomposed in that time? - after having eaten all the dinosaurs. Dragons caused the great dinosaur extinction. Yeah, right. Sounds like a bunch of script writers sitting around bull-shitting ideas to get themselves out of a mess. Meanwhile, the humans, whom the dragons only attack some of the time, struggle along until an American hero flies over from the USA to England, where the dragons live most, to save the world.

Over-paid, over-sexed and over here: it's World War II all over again.

Using some funky military technology and a little bit of American know how, they plan to kill the only male dragon, thereby wiping out the species. Hate to tell you this but there has never been a bisexual species with only one male. Many herding animals, like horses and cows, have a dominant male who drives away all the lesser males, but those lesser males grow up to challenge and eventually overcome the dominant male. Some schools of fish have a single male, but when that male dies the dominant female changes sex and takes his place. Darwinism tells us that any species with so fragile a breeding pattern would've become extinct long before meeting Matthew McConaughey.

From this point it's almost all downhill. You don't need to know the details, just that it is. The Yank makes the worst mistake of any military career and lines all his men up along a short stretch of street and has them clump together to present the easiest possible target for the waiting dragon. Sun Tsu would be horrified. Then the two alpha males fight the dragon for possession of the alpha female, who changes from a heroic helicopter pilot to a damsel in distress in the space of 30 seconds. Courage is not so dependant on technology.

The upside, and there is one, is that Reign of fire clears the way for films about Anne McCaffrey's dragons of Pern. The technology is now up to the task of portraying the great beasts so she's likely to give the go ahead. Other than that, Reign of fire is just an easy way to take care of a couple of hours on a lazy day.

PS: How did Matthew McConaughey know that Christian Bale was riding a horse?

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, THX
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 2.35:1/16:9
  • Special features:
    • Featurettes:
      • Below the line: If you can't take the heat...
      • Breathing life into the terror
    • Interviews: Conversations with Rob Bowman
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: Bulgarian, Dutch, English captions, closed captions

Security censorship classification

M (Low level violence)

Surveillance time

102 minutes (1:42 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 3 October 2002
DVD rental: 8 January 2003
VHS rental: 8 January 2003
DVD retail: 30 April 2003
VHS retail: 30 April 2003
DVD retail: 13 September 2006 - Double pack

Cinema surveillance images

Reign of fire imageReign of fire image
Reign of fire image
Reign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire imageReign of fire image

[ Return to top ]