ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Reign of Fire (2002), {G-13
Analysis Date: July 12, 2002
CAP Score: 59
CAP Influence Density: 0.83

MinMax: -100

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

REIGN OF FIRE (PG-13) -- ...quite respectable computer aided graphics was the "main attraction."

Production: Spyglass Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures
Distribution:Buena Vista Pictures, Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): Rob Bowman
Producer(s): Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Derek Evans, Jonathan Glickman, Bruce Moriarty, Dean Zanuck, Lili Fini Zanuck, Richard D. Zanuck
Written by/Screenplay: Torsy: Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka. Screenplay: Gregg Chabot, Kevin Peterka, Matt Greenberg
Cinematography/Camera: Adrian Biddle
Music: Ed Shearmur
Film Editing: Thom Noble
Casting: Priscilla John
Production Design: Wolf Kroeger
Art Direction: Ian Bailie, Jonathan McKinstry, Alan Tomkins, Justin Warburton-Brown

Near the turn of this century near London, Young Quinn Abercromby (Christian Bale) trots his way amidst heavy construction equipment to see his mother (Alice Krige), a supervisor in excavation operation. Entering the excavation digs, Quinn is asked by one of the workers to crawl through a hole in the tunnel wall too small for an adult man to inspect the cavern beyond. Finding something very odd and definitely alive, Quinn races to momma who follows him back to the underground critter which proceeds to threaten the Quinns. Scampering to escape using the lift, Quinn's mother is killed but Quinn escapes.

About 20 years into the future we find the Earth desolate of organized civilization. Quinn and his mother had released a dormant species of flying, fire-breathing dragons. The one Quinn and his mother found was the bull which, like fish reproduction, fertilized 'millions' of dragons eggs, which soon became 'millions' of dragons. Fire-breathing dragons. Dragons that ate everything in their path. And burned everything in their path. Between the turn of the century when the bull was revived and 2020 the dragons laid waste to the most of civilization.

Quinn became the leader of a pocket of people surviving in the ruins of a castle. Life was routine and as content as was to be expected. Then, amidst a sudden armed preparation for a melee, Quinn watches American military marvel, Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), the Dragon Slayer roll up to the castle in a tank followed by a number of soldiers in personnel transport vehicles ... and a helicopter. Van Zan was looking for temporary housing for his well-armed band of dragonslayers ... and was going to get it, one way or the other. Protective of his brood, Quinn refused Van Zan who is a determined as is Quinn. After a male bonding fight between Quinn and Van Zan, Quinn offers to help Van Zan.

After another male-bonding episode, this time of killing a dragon together and three deaths, Quinn and Van Zan bond as a fighting unit vowed to exterminate the bull dragon to rid the world of all dragons since the bull dragon was the only male dragon.

There is not much more that can be said about the storyline of Reign of Fire. The quite respectable computer aided graphics was the "main attraction." Indeed, the dragons appeared as real as your family dog. Motion, features even the flame-breathing aspects were well coordinated and hard for the impressionable mind to realize as fantasy due to very good realism. And that may be the strongest problem with younger kids watching this PG-13 [Phil. 4:8].

While Quinn does fall in love with chopper pilot Alex (Izabella Scorupco), there was no sexual programming note at all. While there were many brutal and gory action violence deaths, there were no murders or suicides. Reign of Fire was also lighter than typical in foul language. Though lighter than most PG-13s in foul and vulgar language, the three/four letter word vocabulary was well represented [Prov. 8:13]not only with God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11] but with a peppering of what the MPAA calls conversational snippets [Col. 4:6]. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will reveal all that was found.

******* SCRIPTURAL APPLICATION(S) If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech [obstinate in opposing the norm or the accepted].
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [vain: shav' {shawv}; false, emptiness, nothingness, lying, worthlessness (of conduct)]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • Col. 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, ...


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Reign of Fire (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • multiple deaths by animal attack
  • many deaths by incineration
  • deaths by animal consumption
  • action violence, repeatedly
  • long episodes of animal attacks
  • many firearms, offensive and defensive
  • death by fall
  • fighting
  • attempted kidnapping
  • animal gore
  • human skeletal remains

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 18 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, once by an adolescent
  • child permitted in hardhat construction area
  • massive tattoos
  • adolescent arrogance against fair authority

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • beer
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • drunken revelry

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and once without it
  • "Here's to evolution!"

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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