I think I know why this wasn’t a hit at the box office: too many beards. Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey (both of whom rock) are found here sporting decidedly odd facial hair. They’re both buffed up, and take on heroic action roles, but when it comes down to the classic “men want to be them, and women want to be with them” test, I think I’d rather hang on to my Gillette triple-action, thank you very much.
Apart from that, it’s actually pretty good. In a burned-out world where long-dormant dragons have awoken and laid waste to mankind, a group of survivors are forced into a position where they have to fight for their lives, and for the survival of mankind. It’s dark, it’s violent, and not everyone lives happily ever after. The absence of a PG certificate means it doesn’t have to try and please delicate sensibilities, but neither does it stray all the way into gory last-man-standing mode. Director Rob Bowman seems to have resisted any pressure to fit the story into an established audience-pleasing mode, and instead just tells it like it is. Uncompromising, and very watchable.