Christian Bale is the ostensible lead in this post-apocalyptic fantasy, in which a small band of Britons defend themselves against the re-awakened dragons who’ve destroyed civilization. But it’s McConaughey who steals the movie as Denton Van Zan, a gung-ho American dragonslayer who rallies the survivors in his quest to exterminate the fire-breathing lizards. Bald, buff, and bedecked with tattoos, he’s like a cross between George S. Patton, Captain Ahab, and Slim Pickens’ bomb-riding Major Kong in Dr. Strangelove.
Cartoonish? Sure, but McConaughey throws himself into the role with total commitment and, as a result, appears to be having the time of his life. If the movie seems to have lost some of its power to surprise, it’s only because we had never seen that over-the-top side of McConaughey before; now, we’ve come to expect it.
Next Tropic Thunder