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(Review originally written at 2 December 2006)

This movie is a failed attempt to mix action with science-fiction and fantasy elements.

The movie is just totally ridicules. The idea alone that a bunch of ancient dragons in the modern world set in the new apocalypse and destroyed all the cities and killing basically every person on Earth, is an highly unlikely one. A movie with an unlikely concept and premise is per definition an unlikely and far from believable or likable movie. In the end the movie is just as silly as it at first sight sounds, even for a genre movie like this one.

Problem is that the movie is totally lacking in good suspenseful action sequences. The fact that the movie is lacking in good action and tension absolutely has something to do with it that the movie never gets believable enough. The post-apocalypse world the movie is set in feels like it comes straight out of "Waterworld" or "Mad Max". It also doesn't exactly make the movie original although the premise in its core is of course definitely new and original.

Also the fact that the story is rather simple makes that this movie feels far from original or likable enough. They didn't attempt to make the movie any more interesting by putting more meaningful plot lines in it. There are plenty of enough characters in the movie though to do something more interesting with, story-wise.

It is definitely not the actor's fault that the characters don't work out. I mean when you've a cast with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Izabella Scorupco and Gerard Butler, you can't accuse the movie of bad acting but you can accuse it of having bad characters and dialog. The Christian Bale character is supposed to be the main character but his character remains so shallow and uninteresting that you never really ever care much about him. I think that it would had been way better if the main character was an heroic one. A real action-hero, also perhaps played by a more likely action-hero star. It ironically is Matthew McConaughey in his totally over-the-top tough guy role that delivers the best performance of the movie and also puts down the most interesting character. He perhaps plays the most fun role out of his career (yet).

The special effects are definitely not that bad but they way they are used are bad. Too many wide-shots and not enough close-ups. The movie could had also used way more sequences with the dragons in it and more action sequences in general. It would had made the movie at least more fun and interesting to watch. The dragons just don't feel as big destructive monsters in the movie, which also adds to the reason why the movie is lacking in good suspenseful or believable action.

Further more the movie is definitely good looking with some good cinematography from Adrian Biddle and good looking sets and costumes. The directing is also quite good but it could had used more depth and creativity at times. Still I think that Rob Bowman should be given another chance, since he definitely has the potential as a director to make some good, fun but yet simple action, science-fiction and/or fantasy movies, one day.

I wouldn't exactly recommend watching it, although it sure is still a watchable enough one. Maybe good enough to watch it just once...

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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