Reign of Fire (2002)

reign of fire poster 2002 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great looking dragons

So-so story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Reign of Fire

Studio:  Touchstone Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  July 12, 2002

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


It’s dragon hunting season!

A dig in London unearths terror when a living dragon burst from the earth.  Now, twenty years later, man is the endangered species and the dragons destroy and pillage the world.  Quinn (Christian Bale) was the boy who was there at the beginning and now finds himself charged with protecting some of the last surviving humans in a Northumberland castle.  When a group of dragon hunters led by Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) and pilot Alex Jensen (Izabella Scorupco) arrives, Quinn learns that they plan to return to London and destroy the dragon threat once and for all…and he is the key to the mission.

Directed by Rob Bowman, Reign of Fire is a fantasy adventure.  The movie was released to mix reviews but a positive box office draw.


After this, the children begged Quinn never to re-enact Episodes I-III again…

There is something about dragons.  I saw Dragonslayer as a kid and for some reason dragons always seemed like a more plausible enemy than other mythic creatures.  With dinosaurs in the past and crocodiles today, the idea of a winged reptile doesn’t seem too extreme or outlandish.  Reign of Fire takes a decent concept and gave a really nice designed to the creatures.

The story for Reign of Fire has its moments, but ends in a bit of a typical ending.  Reign of Fire has one of the darker post-apocalyptic world, but it has an odd sense of realism where movies and stories have become legends and fables (the Star Wars:  The Empire Strikes Back rendition is a high point).  The clash of cultures (maintaining life…aka Quinn vs. fighting for new life…aka Denton) also provides interesting moments.  I just wish that it hadn’t ended up in a rather generic fight at the end.

The cast in 2002 was good, but today it is great.  You have two Oscar winners battling it out for screentime in an fantasy action movie and this cast probably couldn’t happen for this type of a movie again.  With the popularity of super hero films, maybe Bale and McConaughey could team up again, but it seems unlikely.


Are you a nice dragon like Puff or the Lollipop Dragon?

I do really like the visuals for this film and think that the movie designed great dragons.  I have always preferred the “bat-dragon” to the dragon with four legs and wings.  The interesting design is combined with a great “firebreathing” mechanism which works like napalm.  I just wish that the dragons were more visible throughout the film which often takes place at dusk/dawn.

Reign of Fire is a fun popcorn movie.  The movie has a resolution, but I was rather surprised with the success of the film that a sequel wasn’t cooked up (especially since it could have been a spin-off with different actors).  If you like post-apocalyptic movies and fantasy movies, it is worth seeking out the dragons of Reign of Fire.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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