**/**** Image A- Sound A Extras B-
starring Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, Izabella Scorupco, Gerard Butler
screenplay by Gregg Chabot & Kevin Peterka and Matt Greenberg
directed by Rob Bowman
by Walter Chaw Opening concurrent to Sam Mendes's Road to Perdition, it occurs to me that both it and Reign of Fire are grim, shadowy elegies to lost ages that rely upon gloomy landscapes to convey deeper resonances their stories basic fail to provide. The surprising difference is that Rob Bowman's post-apocalyptic dragon opera actually has a cannier allegorical foundation. Where Road to Perdition is ultimately an empty broadside attempt at equating the semi-Rockwellian loss of innocence of a little boy to the semi-Rockwellian loss of innocence of the United States in the Twenties and Thirties, Reign of Fire appears to be a story of the Blitz and the first days of American involvement in WWII. The French even make a cameo to try to claim a little piece of "Berlin" during the otherwise incomprehensible epilogue.