Seriously, what’s not to like about this film? Fine, I know I’ll get some flak for all this, so I suppose I’d better substantiate my claim somewhat. So, aside from the obvious awesomeness that is the above picture, here are a few more reasons why Reign of Fire is the best film ever made.
Note: There are spoilers ahead, but it’s been out for ten or so years, so I’m not going to lose sleep if I ruin the film for anyone.
Firstly, Matthew McConaughey stars in one of his few decent film roles – he’s the gun-toting, tank-driving American that pretty much embodies every British persons’ perceptions of the boorish, flag-waving American. He arrives with an army riding atop a tank, pokes his nose into the business of the British people and ultimately his rash actions lead to the destruction of Batman’s castle and home and to the death of his best friend Leonidas. Only after a huge lesson in humility and the death of most of his comrades does he realise that he must follow Batman’s example – essentially, this gives Brits like me the ego boost we wanted, seeing the flag-waving American tamed and submitting to our expertise. Sweet.
Moving on, both Batman and Leonidas (or Christian Bale and Gerard Butler to the uninitiated) deliver strong performances, and it’s refreshing to see them portraying British characters together. I’m not saying that there aren’t British characters in cinema at all, but it’s good to see some in an action film that’s checking all the usual Hollywood criteria instead of being more of a low-budget affair as most British films are. It’s also nice to see that they didn’t make a massive point of constantly making the audience aware of how British they are – in some American films, the director can’t resist giving the British character specifically British traits, like being a football hooligan, or being a gentleman who is constantly yearning for the civility of Londontown. Real Britain isn’t like that – it’s just as varied and crazy as the rest of the world. But it is the best place ever.
Other than that, there’s helicopters, explosions and dragons, all of which are awesome. Dragons especially so. Also, Batman and Leonidas act out the “I am your father” scene from Star Wars for the children that live in their castle, and that sentence alone just multiplies the awesome factor by several hundred. But mostly I just wanted to make that badass picture up there.