Reign of Fire
**.9 GM
Starring: Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler, Alexander Siddig

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I've been looking forward to Dragons Vs. Tanks for a long time now. Was it TOO MUCH TO ASK to have ONE tank blow up ONE dragon? What the hell?! THE TANKS NEVER FIRE A SHOT! There's only ONE helicopter! I WANTED JET-DRAGON DOGFIGHTS! GODDAMMIT! YOU DON'T GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE THIS MOVIE! Yes, it's left open for sequels, but Dragons Vs. Tanks requires more than Matthew McConaughey riding all tough-like on a tank and then said tank being totally torched by a dragon. TANK MUST FIRE SHOT. CHOPPER MUST FIRE MISSILES.

These basic precepts of a successful Dragons Vs. Tanks movie are soundly ignored, and although it is disappointing, the overall movie isn't so bad. A young kid named Quinn wanders into his mother's construction site and discovers nasty dragons that proceed to wake up and destroy the planet over the next twenty years or so, save for huddled masses of humanity here and there. When this kid grows up into Christian Bale, he leads a small community in England trying to outlast the dragons, who apparently 'feed on ash' and when they run out of things to destroy, they starve and die out/go into hibernation until the world replenishes itself. Although if they feed on ash, there was still plenty of things around to make into ash. Shattered husks of buildings may no longer be pretty, but they can still be turned into ash rather than just left as junk. For that matter, couldn't they just breathe fire on the very earth and keep generating more ash? But I guess dragons are mean and would rather eat their own than make more tasty, nutritious ash.

Anyway, in rides an American squadron of tanks and stuff, led by Van Zan (Matt Mac), a bald, bearded, tattooey cigar-chomper who's an 'all-business' soldier-type, and Alex (Scorupco), the compassionate pilot lass who's in charge of what is apparently the only aircraft left in the world. They know how to kill dragons, because they're Americans. So after some head-butting, they go kill dragons.

The fact that it boils down to just one dragon they have to find (which apparently ain't hard) and kill (when the millions of other dragons that are hanging out just take off to make it easier for 'em) makes it a little less thrilling, because there should have been a pitched, heated, all-out war with some dragons - tanks blasting 'em outta the sky, big ol' fire-breathin' toast-makin', fuckin' Goose, Mav and Iceman taking out them lizards left 'n' right. Without this, the final confrontation is a bit lackluster. However, for what they actually DID go for, it fits the mood of the film rather well. These are scrappier, more depleted humans, so they have to rely more on ingenuity and sneaky-sneaky to get things done. I can accept that, and it manages to entertain, hold interest and occasionally be really freakin' cool anyway. It just doesn't blow a fella away like a Dragons Vs. Tanks movie should.

McConaughey makes an very entertaining Tattoos-Equal-Tough-Guy that don't take no crap off fools, although his last big move kinda leaves you scratching your head slightly - you know why he did it, but it seems a little off anyway. Bale is a talented man, so he pulls off his brooding 'I need to protect my people and the kids, mate!' fella, although there's never any doubt that he'll suck it up and take it to the superlizards in the end. There isn't a heck of a lot of emotional investment in the characters, though, which makes things a little tougher to care about.

Hopefully, this will be successful enough to spawn Dragons Vs. Tanks II: Electric Boogaloo, but it'll have to be a prequel and show the pitched-ass battle between humanity and dragonity that led to the situation in this movie. Imagine how cool Dragons Vs. Tanks would be if the dragons actually won?

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Yup yup.

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