Maybe it’s because I saw Max Payne yesterday, but I really enjoyed Fire & Ice. It’s a colorful little B-movie that doesn’t really hang together all that well, but as directed by Pitof [Vidcoq, the unfortunate Catwoman], it is an energetic take on a classic theme – dragons and their attending problems.
King Augustin’s [Arnold Vosloo] kingdom one of peace and prosperity until it becomes the target of a marauding fire dragon. His daughter, the headstrong Princess Luisa [Amy Acker], decides to enlist the aid of Gabriel [Tom Wisdom], the son of a banished knight who once killed an ice dragon. His plan? To raise an ice dragon to fight the fire dragon – hopefully killing each other. When the ice dragon survives, he must come up with another plan. Complications arise when the corrupt King Quilok [Ovidiu Niculescu] offers to provide sanctuary for Augustin’s people if Augustin surrenders his kingdom. Augustin’s advisor strongly suggests he do just that.
John Rhys-Davies adds a little soul – and humor – to the proceedings as Sangimel, the man who raised Gabriel after his father died. Sangimel is something of an inventor, a plot point which does, indeed, have a payoff.
It seems that every character in Fire & Ice has a different accent, and both the good guys and the guys make some pretty obvious mistakes in their various plans of action. Somehow, though, its panache makes up for a lot. The dragons are very well done for the budget, soaring through the air like super-sized manta rays – though with traditional dragons’ heads – belching fire and ice and generally wreaking havoc.
In fact, unlike the technically superior Max Payne, Fire & Ice has both that panache and more than a little heart – qualities that make it far more of an entertainment. Even so, it’s only marginally above average – but fun is fun, and Fire & Ice is just that.
Final Grade: C+