When I watch movies with my family, I am often called a snob. This is a reasonable assessment – I am often the only one among us who will actively assault a film’s weaknesses rather than obeying Bellisario’s Maxim and simply not looking too closely at it. I take responsibility for this trait and acknowledge the fact that sometimes I will hate a movie that could be construed as passable by someone paying less attention to it. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Fire and Ice: The Dragon Chronicles is a movie that, to someone paying attention to absolutely nothing except the pretty colors on the screen, seems like a passable fantasy action flick. It’s no masterpiece, but the designs of the dragons are imaginative and the settings all look remarkably nice. But if you actually pay any attention to what’s going on with the story and characters, and ask the questions that the director clearly did not, you’ll be distracted by the fact that this movie is not, in fact, particularly good. It turns out that this was directed by none other than Pitof – and for the 98% of you who don’t know that name, it’s the guy who directed the universally-reviled Catwoman. Just so we can be on the same page. Anyway, before I dig into what utter tripe this is, let me step back and actually address its strengths. Surprisingly, the movie looks nice. The costumes are decent, the scenery and structures seem pretty great, and the CGI used on the dragons looks fairly advanced for the film’s four million dollar budget. In addition, it shows a single fleck of originality in the design of the dragons – they’re basically aerial manta rays with Godzilla heads, which are wreathed in their element (fire and ice, respectively, if you had not guessed). That’s kinda neat. John Rhys-Davies does his best to salvage the project by adding some smidge of character and charm to it, and he really really tries. However, he has no chemistry with any of the other characters and never really gets a chance to shine as much as he could. So… um. I guess that pretty much covers its strengths. Now on to the fun part – roasting this heap of offal like a piglet in a supernova. For the sake of all things holy, I don’t have enough to say about this movie. I’m gonna go to the beginning and see if I can grasp all of it. The story starts off in some generic fantasy kingdom. Arnold Vosloo (you know him, he played the mummy in The Mummy) is a good king who is very good and kind, his people like him because he does things that they like, they all agree that he is good and nobody disagrees because everyone feels exactly the same and no ambiguous political issues have ever occurred in the mystical kingdom of blahblah. I’m not sure why this bothers me so much, but it always does. No ruler is so perfect that 100% of their citizens like them. But this guy does. Oh well. He’s also a fantastic father and husband and saves kittens from shrubberies on his off days. You know, when he isn’t doing important king stuff. His daughter adheres firmly to the “princess doesn’t wanna do princess stuff” Disney cliché, which brings me to a somewhat confusing vein that runs all the way through this film. It vaguely seems like it wants to be empowering to women, since her parents constantly inform her that she should be doing normal princess stuff only to be rebuked as she proceeds to adamantly do not-princess stuff, like hunt and track and try to save the world. Normally I’d always be okay with this – I wouldn’t even mind the heavy-handed approach where said princess is uncannily good at one or several things, and tends to show everyone up with how uncanny she, in fact, is. This princess is not uncanny at all, she’s nearly killed on several occasions, needs a man to save her, and needs that same man to save the world from the dragons because she is wholly unable to do so herself. In fact, (spoilers!) she accomplishes nothing of note during the entire film, and at the end she just settles down and decides to do princess stuff. It’s then implied that she marries the male hero and he becomes king. So, tell me… what was the point of any of that? We’re informed countless times throughout the film of how headstrong and hardened she is, yet she honestly doesn’t display any of that. The only noteworthy thing she ever does is track a guy down, when she already knows where to find him, and she would have been killed along the way if she hadn’t been saved. So there’s that. The villain in this is divided four ways – there’s the fire dragon, who’s terrorizing the countryside. There’s the evil, vaguely middle-eastern rival king who wants to gobble up the good kingdom in exchange for protection from the dragon. There’s the evil adviser to the good king, who is obviously evil both because he’s an adviser and they’re evil, and because he is also vaguely middle-eastern (somehow, him being a double-agent for the other king isn’t particularly shocking). And finally, there’s the ice dragon, who is specifically woken up to battle the fire dragon, and proceeds to start terrorizing the countryside himself shortly afterward. If you’re double-taking after that last bit, you heard me right. Once the uncanny princess finds the brooding hero and his inventor sidekick, their plan is to find another dragon, wake it up, and make it fight the dragon that’s already there. Note that this is not a nice dragon, as all dragons are inherently evil in this world. So, let me get this straight. Best Case Scenario: The ice dragon kills the fire dragon, then terrorizes the kingdom. Worst Case Scenario: The fire dragon kills the ice dragon, then continues to terrorize the kingdom. Is it just me, or do these outcomes seem awkwardly similar? Then we have their method for corralling and controlling the dragons. Apparently, in the forehead of each dragon is a “dracone.” These are basically dragon eggs. When the dragon dies, the egg hatches. These dracones are the most confusing things in existence. Here are the rules regarding them. A dragon will never attack a dracone, or anything nearby it. This is how the evil king keeps his own kingdom safe from the fire dragon – he has a dracone and keeps it in a tower where the dragon can see it. The only thing dragons hate more than everything is other dragons, which they will attack on sight and even seek out to do battle with. However, it’s explicitly stated that every living dragon has a dracone on its face, which dragons aren’t allowed to attack (presumably, it’s considered dirty pool). Endangering a dracone (such as by lighting a small fire beneath it) causes it to somehow psychically call all nearby dragons to its aid. If you’re a main character and are holding a dracone, a dragon won’t notice that you have one until it’s only a few feet away from you (despite the fact that a single dracone atop a tower can protect a whole kingdom). It will then attempt to indirectly attack you by creating shockwaves and attacking the environment around you, thereby endangering the dracone it strives so greatly to protect. Dragons apparently want dracones more than anything, even if it’s a dracone for a dragon opposing their own elemental type. It’s safe to assume that they don’t want to raise the baby dragon as their own, but they are also apparently unable to kill it or do anything to it, except get it. So now you’re an expert on the mysterious dracone. Make of it what you will, because it means absolutely nothing to me. The film forces itself to indulge another cliché; that of the older mentor character dying (in this case, John Rhys-Davies’ character, who is an aging inventor and mentor to the young hero). He sacrifices himself for absolutely no reason, rushing at a dragon with his sword rather than using his advanced scientific inventions, when the characters he is attempting to protect are already well out of range of an attack and are pretty much safe. Instead of running to safety himself, he “buys them time” by basically jumping into its mouth. Everything in the film, except for the true extent of how stupid it is, is very predictable. This ranges from Davies’ death, to a side-character’s soldiers siding with the good king, to the adviser being evil, to the good king dying (what, you didn’t think he was gonna live, did you?). The action scenes range from “adequate” to “terrible,” with a particular scene standing out – Vosloo’s character confronts the evil adviser in a duel after learning of his betrayal. The duel begins and concludes with Vosloo lightly bumping him, knocking him down, and having won (he then dies – psych!). Another fun aside is that the evil adviser has a floppy beret that he only wears when he’s revealing his evilness. Like Igor’s hump, it flips from side to side a few times if you watch. Ugh. What else is there to say about this? Plenty, I’m sure, if I took the time. It seems like nobody actually read the script before putting this into production, and I really wouldn’t be surprised if Pitof himself commented on this and told me that it was true. Don’t watch this. It isn’t worth a dollar, it isn’t worth two hours of your life, and it isn’t worth the mind-ouchies that it will undoubtedly end up giving you. Learn from my mistakes. Learn from my mind-ouchies. See larger image Fire & Ice – Dragon Chronicles [Blu-ray] New From: $7.50 USD In Stock Dungeons & D-Listers: Fire and Ice - The Dragon Chronicles1.5Overall ScoreShare this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.