thatcow

Here there be dragons

Reign of Fire strikes me as a very safe movie to make, which is probably an unusual statement for any science fiction or fantasy film, much less one that is trying to unite the two genres.

The premise here is that dragons have been unleashed during some underground construction project in London. These creatures have brought devastation to the planet, and near extinction to humans. The last few enclaves eke out a sketchy survival. One such group is led by Quinn, who saw the dragons unleashed firsthand as a child. One day they are visited by an remnants of an American military crew, on a mission to hunt down the one male dragon in the world, to destroy the species and make the planet safe again.

It doesn't get any deeper than that, which is what I mean by safe. Even the characters are driven almost entirely by their situations. Most lines are so genericly macho, there's little for them to contradict or for people to nitpick with. People just love to find little issues with a film, and genre films especially are subject to such treatment. Sure, there's a few things for people to complain about here, but they're small, and if you can accept the premise, there's few chances taken for missteps from there.

All this is probably why the movie seems short - it's a full hour and forty-one minutes, yet has about as many plot points as an episode of Friends. There needs to be more to watch here, pure and simple. What we see is good enough as individual scenes, but there's little holding it together, or providing relief from the burdensome overt plot. The dragons themselves, while tremendous effects visually, fail to breathe life into the film.

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