One of the most popular movie tattoos of the past few years is the highly stylized blackwork appearing on actor Matthew McConaughey's character in REIGN OF FIRE. Set in the near future in a ruined England, dragons have suddenly come to rule the Earth, at least until the Americans show up outside London with a load of military surplus and a buff, tattooed and borderline-crazy commander. The militaristic dragonslaying team is led by Denton Van Zan (McConaughey).
In addition to a few tanks, a chopper and a somewhat suicidal team of sky divers, Van Zan has a vision of the downfall of the dragons and a torso covered with stylized blackwork dragon tattoos. His unit have been taking down dragons one at a time and these missions have been taking their toll. Van Zan wants a few good men to join him by hook or by crook before he makes his final campaign towards London.
His extensive tribal style tattooing is visible during his fist fight with Quinn, the leader of the local community played by Christian Bale. The two men have a violent physical confrontation before deciding to join forces and go back to fighting the dragons. Part of what makes these tattoos so bad-ass is that they were designed to further accentuate a precisely developed musculature. Hit the gym with a trainer for a few months, then work it out with your tattooist and you too can look like this. Remember, you’ll then have to maintain that level of physical development for the rest of your life.
Each curl and twist and turn of the design echoes the physicality of both Van Zan and the dragons he hunts. Black lines curving around biceps are tails and wings at the same time, looking like dragons in flight at a distance as well. Denton Van Zan has made killing dragons his life, and he wears these dragons to capture some of their power, as he also does by wearing the dragons tooth.
REIGN OF FIRE official web site
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