Everybody's a critic - 'Reign of Fire'

Friday, August 2, 2002

Three stars

"Dragonslayer" meets "Mad Max." That's what you can expect from the fantasy "Reign of Fire."

The film stars Christian Bale ("Little Women") and Matthew McConaughey ("Ed TV") as two men fighting for mankind's very survival against fire-breathing dragons.

The story is set in Europe in the year 2020. Bale leads a band of survivors striving to outlive the creatures, while McConaughey is a soldier seeking the eminent extinction of the beasts.

The plot is somewhat predictable as it unfolds, but the visual and sound effects give the film enough of an adrenaline rush to keep you on the edge of your seat. The PG-13 rating is a definite warning sign for parents due to the violent images. Although the ending is less than satisfying, the special effects are clever.

It's not "Lord of the Rings," but it isn't a bad way to spend an afternoon.

-- Barbara Hanscom, data entry clerk

Two stars

As a science-fiction film, "Reign of Fire" is probably pretty good. However, seeing this kind of movie makes me thankful for the remote on my TV.

The surviving people in the year 2020 are huddled together in a castle in England with the usual conflicts encountered in a group of desperate people. Comes our American hero, tattoos, cigar butts, swagger and all, to save the day.

There is a classic struggle for power among the humans, then a pursuit by the fire-breathing male dragon with the predictable result.

It must be noted that there is no bad language and no disgusting splattering of guts across the screen when the inevitable violence explodes. There is plenty of violence and excitement and overpowering sound effects to please moviegoers who crave this level of entertainment. If this is your kind of movie, you will enjoy the adventure.

-- Richard Ryan, real estate agent

One star

When I found out that this movie was my assignment I wanted to give it a fair chance. Call me crazy but, the thought of the end of the world as we know it should bring about a little fear and the feeling of "What if?" not chuckles and giggles from the audience.

I can work up a little fear with some things. Like meteors. It happened to the dinosaurs. Aliens, a stretch. But what about Oswald, Texas, and fire-breathing dragons? NOT!

The plot didn't help matters any. My mind kept drifting off, thinking silly things like, "If this is the end of the world and they are having to do without basic necessities like food, then how is it that her teeth are white enough to blind the dragons and where did she get the bleach for her hair."

Take my advice. Wait for the video.

-- Tabitha Cox, receptionist

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