Review Date: July 10, 2002
Director: Rob Bowman
Writer: Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka, Matt Greenberg
Producers: Richard Zanuck, Lili Zanuck, Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber
Christian Bale as Quinn Abercromby
Matthew McConaughey as Van Zan
Isabella Scorupco as Alex
I seemed a little too claustrophobic at times, like the entire picture took place on three sets. I also didn't understand the British accents all that well, didn't really get into any of the characters other than the two lead men and really wanted other people for whom I could give half a shit. Christian Bale also delivered a strong performance here, but was there anyone else of substance in the entire movie? 'Fraid not. And as cool and exciting as the action sequences were (the arc angels' fall from the sky was the fuckin' bomb!!), I couldn't help but feel like there was something missing. I was personally looking really forward to seeing this all-out battle in the end as well, but it never really materialized. In fact, once things got to the finale, they just seemed to speed up and finish rather abruptly. Having said that, the movie on the whole is still pretty fun to watch, the special effects are solid throughout, the scene in which McConaughey tells off the Brits is a gem (look at those eyes, baby) and the film also contains a handful of funny moments and dialogue ("We can do this the easy way or we can do this the really easy way"). As for the dragons...well, they were impressive but they never truly took over the picture. It almost seemed like a setup to a sequel or like they just ran out of money to include more monsters, so they gave McConaughey a mickey and told him to go hogwild (and he takes full advantage of his carte-blanche, let me tell you-great career move). I think this is a flick that you are either gonna love or hate. It's to note that I'm one of the assholes who thought BATTLEFIELD EARTH was "fun cheese" so watch your step after reading my words.
One thing I will definitely remember from this film is the hysterically exuberant scene featuring the bald, gruffy McConaughey jumping off the top of a huge chimney with an axe over his head and nothing but a big-ass dragon flying right towards him. That shot will forever be imbedded in my mind. Hi-la-rious. In a nutshell, the film delivers some pretty cool special effects, a couple of solid action pieces and two engaging lead actors, but doesn't give us enough dragons (this is a "dragon movie", man...show me more dragons, dammit!), doesn't really get very deep into the story and doesn't have enough interesting characters to make it all that worthwhile. A reserved recommendation, although I did think twice about giving the film an extra point for McConaughey's pecs alone.