We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
One regards "Reign of Fire" with awe. What a vast enterprise has been marshaled in the service of such a minute idea. Incredulity is our companion, and it is twofold: We cannot believe what happens in the movie, and we cannot believe that the movie was made.
Of course, in a story involving mankind's battle with fire-breathing dragons in the year 2020, there are a few factual matters you let slide. But the movie makes no sense on its own terms, let alone ours. And it is such a grim and dreary enterprise. One prays for a flower or a ray of sunshine as those grotty warriors clamber into their cellars and over their slag heaps. Not since "Battleship Earth" has there been worse grooming.
The story: A tunnel beneath London breaks open an underground cavern filled with long-dormant fire-breathing dragons. They fly to the surface and attack mankind. When one is destroyed, countless more take its place. Man's weapons only increase the damage. Soon, civilization has been all but wiped out; the heroes of the film cower in their underground hiding places and dream of defeating the dragons.
Along comes Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), the Dragon Slayer. He is bald and bearded, and his zealot's eyes focus in the middle distance as he speaks. He's the kind of tough guy who smokes cigar butts. Not cigars. Butts. He has a disagreement with Quinn (Christian Bale), the leader of the group. I am not sure why they so ferociously oppose each other, but I believe their quarrel comes down to: Van Zan thinks they have to fight the dragons, and Quinn thinks they have to fight the dragons but they have to look out real good, because those are dangerous dragons and might follow them home.