Director: Stephen Furst
Starring: Maxwell Caulfield, Angel Boris Reed, Woon Young Park, Richard Wharton, John Rhys-Davies, John Hansson
The One Where $95M Doesn’t Always Mean More Bang For Your Buck
Dragon Storm has a dragon attack in its opening scene that shows far more than Reign Of Fire did in its entire runtime.
I’m sure there are better Dragon films out. But Reign Of Fire is where I base all of my Dragon judgement.
It had Bale. It had a bald McConoughoughoughy. (Sp). How could it fail?
Well, essentially it failed because the cool image of Dragons over London was a trick. A fraud. That scene, shown in minute detail in a flashback, teased me more than any film in recent memory.
I hadn’t read much about it, so had made my mind up that I was going to see a film about Dragons. In London. With Patrick Bateman, (still his best role, Batfans), kicking their asses.
I think it’s fair to expect that from a Dragon film, right? Especially one whose poster insinuates London’s Burning.
So, I turned my back on the genre. (Is it even a genre? I’m not sure). But I learnt a lesson, put it that way. Don’t believe a poster. Artwork can do wonders to entice you in. If someone could tell 20th Century Fox that, and the production team of the “floating heads over men parts”, I’d be grateful.
So Dragon Storm was 1-Nil up in the opening few minutes for me.
I’m not really into Fantasy Shows. Things like Hercules, Xena. I mention that because I know things like that have creature effects, and Dragons, too. I also know they probably haven’t been on for years. Point is, they had the sort of effects that weren’t quite good enough for the big screen, but sometimes surprised you by the standard being so high.
Dragon Storm impressed me for its effects. There are a couple of instances where the Dragons are seen in broad daylight. Full view. And they looked pretty good.
I don’t want it to sound like a sympathy vote. Like, “Aw, didn’t they do well with the little Dragon effects”, as I playfully rustle the Directors hair. The thing is, you fear the worse on some screeners. I’ve done a few now, and lets just say, they don’t all have Richard E Grant (WITHNAIL & I!), in them.
The thing that strikes me about Dragon Storm most is that IMdB helps to fill in the gaps. I had never heard of it. It also helps me see that they really went to down on literally copying the Reign Of Fire poster. I love that. I love that somewhere, Hollywood Execs sit there and say…
“There is room for another Dragon movie. That Rain Of Fire is a box office phenomenom! Matthew McCononononughy (sp) has never been better. Apart from maybe U571. That Christian Bale fella? Strange accent. I don’t see him going anywhere. Anyway… We already spent $20 (TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS!), on One Night With The King, so… Can you make a Dragon movie for, say… One Million Bucks?”
The figures don’t add up, do they? One million for this. Twenty for that? Mental. It should make me turn on Hollywood even more than The Kings Sheep* already has. But, I can’t. Truth is, in instances like this, I’m impressed with the underdog.
A quick check shows Reign Of Fire cost a cool $95,000,000 (that’s 95 MILLION). It puts everything into perspective for me. You can’t compare the two. Or if you do, you have to take that into account, admit there are more Dragon scenes in this, than Reign, then turn on Reign like a Hobo With A Shotgun.
You would like to think that there is a lesson here. Make more films for One Million Bucks. Let creative Directors make Monsters on their own PCs. Less is more. Alas, no. The cogs of Hollywood mean we are destined to endure over spent budgets forever more.
I’m OK with that. I’m looking forward to Battlefield: Los Angeles, which probably cost the amount it would take to wipe out a small countries debt. There is a place for it.
It’s just important to remember that every once in a while, a small film can come along and do it better.
I don’t normally cover the plot of a film. I expect you too. Having had a bit of (justified) criticism for that recently, though, I thought I would this time.
Two rival Kings fighting for power in the Middle Ages join forces, then turn on each other, whilst fighting Dragons.
I know what you’re thinking… SOLD!