Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

A kindly king (Arnold Vosloo) rules with a gentle hand over his kingdom, which we must admit looks more like a shanty town village than a kingdom but that’s just senseless nitpicking. This king also has a daughter in Princess Luisa (Amy Acker) who loves her old man, frustrates her mother Queen Remini (Oana Pellea) incessantly with her boyish ways and tends to listen to no one. The Fire part of this movie, ‘Fire and Ice’, appears in the sky in the form of the Fire Dragon completely wrecking the king’s shanty town kingdom totally setting it off. What’s a kindly king to do, especially with the nine or ten people that comprise his kingdom dying of starvation because of this asshole dragon?

Well his ‘trusted’ advisor Paxian (Razvan Vesilescu) knows what he should do. Seems the scurrilous King Quilok (Ovidiu Niculescu) will protect the king’s people if he just signs his kingdom over to him, with it not being lost on Good King Augustin that this dragon isn’t setting Quilok’s kingdom on fire. This is certainly a last option for our king who has heard the tale of a Knight who once slayed a dragon some time ago, an option that our ‘trusted’ advisor advises against vehemently.

But our precocious princess overheard this conversation and now it’s off to the Land Beyond the Kingdom to find this dragon slayer, now a defrocked Knight. What she finds is this knight’s bitter son Gabriel (Tom Wisdom) and his Q type confidant Sangimel (John Rhys-Davies). Gabriel hates all kingdoms because of the shame they brought his recently deceased father, but Sangimel reminds Gabriel that they need to be paid on occasion and now it’s off to do some dragon slaying. Adventure Awaits!

I’m going to have to take a class or something and learn about the business of filmmaking to see how does one get into the business of making these Sci-Fi original movies because these little rinky dink movies must be making somebody somewhere

some money or they wouldn’t make so many of them. I’m thinking one of the first things you are going to have to secure is a valid passport so you can make the frequent trips to Bulgaria, or Romania as the case is with this one, since apparently these municipalities allow people to shoot movies for next to nothing. The one issue I’ve observed in shooting in these countries is that if you’re going to have Bulgaria stunt doubling for New York City, you’re going to have to import some minorities. I’ve seen a couple of these deep south and Big American City Bulgarian movies with no black folks, no Asians, no Hispanics… nothing. Gotta import ‘em. And with the technology available today all you need is one and then you can clone this person over and over again. Not particularly an issue with this mythical period piece, even though it did have a native minority in it nonetheless.

Did that previous paragraph have anything to do with ‘Fire and Ice’? Hell no, just musing is all. But ‘Fire and Ice’ as far as Sci-Fi Originals go wasn’t all that bad really. Yes it was plenty cheesy, the word ‘Original’ probably shouldn’t have been used at all when describing the well worn and retread narrative and there did seem to be a few budgetary concerns in relation to some of the sets and CGI effects. But one of the CGI effects that I personally think worked out pretty good were the dragons. The dragon kind of looked like that Godzilla monster from the American Godzilla movie, which wasn’t a Godzilla monster at all but a big lizard. While that design didn’t work at all there, it works fine here and the fire and ice effects for the dragon were very effective. Some of the dialog actually was functional too, such as when the Rhys-Davies character asked the Princess if she had a weapon and she replied with ‘I have a dagger’, to which Sagmiel informed her ‘that’s no a weapon, that’s cutlery’. You kind of gotta envision it coming out of John Rhys-Davies mouth to get the full effect of that. Then there was Arnold Vosloo hanging out in this flick which gives it just a touch of legitimacy.

But it is still a suspect work of cinematic art. Tom Wisdom didn’t make for much of a swashbuckling hero and Amy Acker was one of the most irritating princesses ever. The oddest part of this movie was when the hero had to kill the Ice Dragon by luring it to its death. How the ice dragon came in this scene wacky as all get out and probably represents one of the crappier plans in movie history but we just rolled with it. But there was this sequence that showed our hero climbing a mountain, the dragon attacking and then back to the princess who would look back at the Black Knight (Cabral Ibacka) over and over again. She would look back at this guy and he would look back at her like, ‘Bitch, why do you keep looking at me?’ By the tenth time she looked back at him during this interminable sequence of scenes he was like ‘You got one more time to look at me and then I’m punching you dead square in face.’ I was hoping he’d do it because that would’ve been really funny.

Anyway ‘Fire and Ice’ was slightly below middle of the road as far as regular movies go but as far as Sci-Fi originals go needless to say we’ve all seen way, way worse. I don’t know if that’s a ringing endorsement but it is what it is.

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