This week on the B movie docket is Reign of Fire
B movies are the glue stuck in between all the other genres, oftentimes refusing to conform to any particular genre presets. Some but not all of the hallmarks of a B movie include scripts that read like they were written by a room full of eighth-graders, poor visual effects, cringe-inducing dialogue, low budget production design, and zany plot contrivances. You’re aware of the hallmarks, right? B-movies often reek of amateur flair. Thought you were about to watch a great white shark hunted in dramatic fashion like only Steven Spielberg can deliver? Nope, this is Sharknado.
Why do we love B movies? I think B movies are comforting. You know what you’re about to watch is bad. If you’re fortunate it may be so bad that it’s good. You’ll often scratch your head trying to work out the plot. Out of the many good films you’ve seen, I bet you can talk with more vigor about the worst ones you’ve seen. They’re unforgettable. There’s something comforting about that I think. Besides they’ve been around just as long as the movie industry.
Believe it or not, chances are there’s a B movie for you. So I compiled a list of 50 B movies you must see before you die. No decade is off-limits. No rating is too taboo. For the next 49 weeks, I will introduce and recommend a B movie for your viewing pleasure. Yes, these are exciting times indeed my fanatical friends.
WEEK 40 – Reign of Fire
Does watching The Dark Knight’s Christian Bale and The Dark Tower’s Matthew McConaughey battle dragons in a post-apocalyptic world sound like a bad time? Of course not. In fact, I’m sure you’ll have a great time watching this weeks B movie, Reign of Fire.
This weeks movie is a disaster movie of epic proportions. Prepare to sit back and watch as two of the worlds biggest movie stars band together to cancel the apocalypse. Here’s the synopsis – In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn watches as his mother wakes an enormous fire-breathing beast from its centuries-long slumber. Twenty years later, much of the world has been scarred by the beast and its offspring. As a fire chief, Quinn (Christian Bale) is responsible for warding off the beasts and keeping a community alive as they eke out a meager existence. Into their midst comes a hotshot American, Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), who says he has a way to kill the beasts.
We all love dragons. Look how much better HBO’s Game of Thrones got once dragons were introduced. Hell, some of the series best episodes featured dragons. Who does not love a good fire breathing flying enemy for their protagonist to battle?
The end of the world has never looked as epic or scorched as it does in this B action movie. There is no way to go wrong with this one. It is even more absurd that the premise presented in Roland Emmerich’s 2012 or his Day After Tomorrow apocalyptic epic. The great thing about this is that we don’t have to twiddle our thumbs as we watch people outdrive a volcano or outrun the freezing air. I really wish 2012 and Day After Tomorrow were marketed as silly B movies, and not mildly serious films. Because at the end of the day they are B movies.
Reign of Fire is a better movie. I can suspend belief in the context of this movie when the filmmaker explains how the dragons originated, or even why they are winning. They go as far as pinning the extinction of the dinosaurs on the dragons. The filmmaker here takes from Godzilla and borrows the concept that dragons are a part of natures check and balance. Whenever there is a healthy population of food on earth, the dragons awaken to devour it. And by devour, I mean literally. Not only do these dragons eat people, but they will scorch entire cities just to eat the ash. Bone chilling.
Dragon Joe Chill
Christian Bale splits screen time here with Matthew McConaughey. I admit the latter is the epitome of bad-assery in this film. More on that later. But I will say there is something charming about seeing Bale’s character use the trauma of his parent’s death to take a stand once again. Albeit this time against dragons and not crime. I was waiting with bated breath for him to appear on screen rocking a dragon killing suit. Gladly the movie does feature those. Sadly, Bale does not don one.
Like I said McConaughey is like a machismo sandwich here. Every scene he’s in he chews while dripping toughness. Have you dreamed of McConaughey going toe to toe with dragons armed with only a shotgun? Or have you wondered what a battle hardened McConaughey would look like desperately battling the worlds biggest dragon with an axe? Then I will tell you one thing. Watch Reign of Fire.