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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Action > Reign Of Fire (2002/Blu-ray)

Reign Of Fire (2002/Blu-ray)


Picture: B+†††† Sound: B+†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: D



In what always felt like an attempt to do a digital update of Dragonslayer with gritty adults versus teens, Rob Bowmanís Reign Of Fire (2002) was an attempt by the only occasionally tough guy director to makeover the fantasy genre in his way, but ultimately, it just never works out.


Matthew McConaughey is Denton, an American in the year 2022, where the world is in post-apocalyptic mode visiting Britain.There, Quinn (Christian Bale, now the bigger star for so many reasons) is protecting his family and people from the arrival of dragons pouring out from under the earthís crust.Denton says he can stop them, but the two men do not get along.Can they work together long enough to save everyone or will they kill each other first?


Well, The Odd Couple with swords and fire-breathing dragons this ainít and that would have been better.The creatures have a burn and scorch policy that would do the Soviets proud crushing the Nazis, a possible reference in vain, which sort of summarizes the film.Even with a supporting cast that includes Isabella Scorupco, Gerald Butler and Alice Krige, all who are a plus, the digital dragons and a tired screenplay (three writers?) cannot stop this from being Mad Max lite.Of course, Baleís growing success (including Disney issuing the terrific The Prestige on Blu-ray a week after this) makes this the right time to issue this recent catalog title.It remains a curio at best.


The 1080p 2.35 x 1 digital High Definition image is not without its flaws in the transfer, but the cinematography by the late, great Adrian Biddle, B.S.C., saves this from being a B-movie altogether.Despite all the digital and dulled color palate, Biddle is able to make this look better than it would have, just coming off of the two Mummy films (see the HD-DVDs elsewhere on this site) and the lesser Bond film The World Is Not Enough (see our DTS DVD review), also digitally plastered to no end.Even though the effects, he knew how to shoot these kinds of films.The PCM 16-bit/48kHz 5.1 mix is engaging with surrounds like the genre calls for, even down to the comic Dragonheart, which showed off its surrounds in DTS particularly.


Extras include a Bowman interview, two making of featurettes and the trailer.For fans and the most curious only.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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