Reign of Fire |


Christian Bale, Izabella Scorupco, ...

(Reign of Fire: Jonathan Hession)

Don’t talk to McConaughey about blue screens. ”In this movie,” he reports, ”we’ve got actors in the same frame with downed, bloody, dead dragons.” You heard it here first, folks: hot McConaughey-on-dragon action. Because this time (like so many times before), it’s personal. In a postapocalyptic future, blaze-belching nasties have reduced human civilization to cinders. Our only hope? A British firefighter (Bale), a comely ‘copter pilot (Scorupco), and a brash, tattooed American named Van Zan (McConaughey). ”It’s pretty medieval,” the Texan says of his favorite weaponry, an ax-and-pick combination he designed with director Bowman (who last directed the big-screen ”X-Files”). ”We’ve got a tank, we’ve got a harpoon. But the ax is what I call the coup de grace.”

But don’t feel sorry for the steroidal salamanders. ”They’re just mean, badass reptiles,” says McConaughey. In other words, it’s no ”Pete’s Dragon;” indeed, ”Reign of Fire” does a real 180 on the flying-lizard sensitivity issue for parent company Disney. But McConaughey is quick to note: ”You’re talking to me, the Dragon Slayer, you know. [Disney] probably wouldn’t use those words. But this is my business, ‘cause I’m the guy slaying the dragons.” Okay, we get it.