Movies with dragons don’t always do as good as they possibly can, and that’s kind of a shame since these humongous, ancient beasts are rather impressive when they’re drawn up and presented in m manner that is utterly horrifying and straight to the point. In stories of magic and fantasy, it’s been seen that dragons can converse with human beings and even create effects that make them appear as something that’s beyond the beast and human all at the same time. In Reign of Fire, they were ash-eating, fire-spewing, mass-producing killers that had no intention of coexisting with humanity, and it was kind of brilliant in a way since it introduced a new apex predator to the world, but in a manner that was ultimately self-defeating. The movie itself was definitely entertaining since it introduced an ancient species that had been dormant for a long, long time into a world that wasn’t prepared to deal with them and, as a result, fell very quickly to the natural might and ferocity of creatures that were once thought to be myth and whose breath could burn just about anything in sight.
What was smart about this movie however is that it brought dragons down to a very real and visceral level by stripping them of all magical qualities as it created biological beings that were bound by the world around them as much as anyone. Some might have thought it was kind of a foolish thing to do since essentially turned mythical beasts into a prehistoric species into a jumped-up, fire-spitting type of dinosaur that had somehow existed for so long on virtually nothing, which is a little odd to think of. But the fact that the dragons could exist on ash was kind of interesting since it brought up the idea of how their biology actually works. Plus, the idea of having only one male among the entire group is kind of hard to believe since this is a horrible survival trait.
But perhaps in a reboot the nature of the dragons and their biological origins could be explored just a bit more. There would be no need to make them magical in any way since, despite the loss of any mystique, it’s fair to think that maintaining the idea that dragons are very real creatures that function very similar to other living beings would be wise since it would keep the danger level where it needs to be. The fact is that there is no reasoning with these creatures and no need to worry about any magical qualities that might prevent them from being killed. In this movie, it was simply who was smarter than the other and who was tougher in the end. The toughness factor obviously went to the dragons when it came to sheer physical toughness, but the mental fortitude that the humans possessed was impressive since it allowed them to push onward even when things looked utterly hopeless. But what was also great about this movie is that it showed the variations in human behavior that cropped up in the face of what could only be called utter annihilation. Some lost hope and tried to do things their way to preserve themselves and those they cared for, while others looked to the strongest among their ranks for guidance. But everyone had their own feelings about the world and what it had become.
When it came to fighting the dragons though and taking back the world that had become humanity’s by right of survival, the fight was definitely brutal, and it wasn’t nearly as simple as one might have thought it could be. If anything, it was a gut-check that pit two species that had no desire to find middle ground against one another since like it or not, survival is one of the most basic concepts that any species will share with another since every last living organism on this planet wants to survive and will often do so at any cost. Yes, there are exceptions to that idea, but that’s not what this movie was about. Dragons and humans are, in this movie, two species that are bound to go head to head, and while the dragons are seen to win in a toe to toe match thanks to their brutality and their undying need to survive, humans have proven time and again that it doesn’t matter if they’re fighting each other, aliens, supernatural beings, whatever it might be, the stubborn streak that runs in our DNA is a little too strong to let people just give in and fade away.
A reboot of this movie would definitely need to show the struggle that is faced and the willingness to go on, but it would also need another couple of characters the likes of Van Zan and Quinn since the two men were at odds for much of the movie, but they both agreed that the survival of the human race was important.
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