Riddle of Fire Review – IGN

The Unique Journey of Riddle of Fire

On paper, Riddle of Fire may sound like a chaotic mess: Three mischievous kids armed with paintball guns are on a quest to find the perfect blueberry pie for their ailing mother after getting locked out of their new stolen game console. Along the way, they encounter poachers, a witch, and a grumpy huntsman. The gritty 16mm visuals and references to ’80s adventure classics might make you think it’s just another nostalgia-driven film trying too hard to be funny with kids swearing and in peril.

Director Weston Razooli’s debut film, however, defies those expectations. From its fantasy-inspired narration to its deadpan humor and dungeon-synth soundtrack, Riddle of Fire carves its own delightful and eccentric path. If you tune into its frequency, you’ll discover a charming and unique adventure that stands out as one of the top movies of the year.

Riddle of Fire Gallery

Riddle of Fire excels in setting the right tone. Following the escapades of Alice, Hazel, and Jodie, also known as “The Three Immortal Reptiles,” Razooli blends elements from RPGs, ’80s favorites, and Adult Swim into a captivating mix. The film recalls the style of Wes Anderson, combining artistic artificiality with quirky child characters akin to Moonrise Kingdom. The Reptiles attend “dirtbike camp,” face off against the Enchanted Blade Gang led by a witch, and befriend Petal, the witch’s daughter. Within Razooli’s crafted world, everything feels intriguing and engaging.

Razooli’s attention to detail is apparent, from the meticulously arranged snacks to the distinct names of places and objects. The landscapes of Wyoming and Utah add depth to the film, grounding it in a sense of wonder and imagination. Riddle of Fire emanates sincerity and commitment, devoid of irony or detachment from reality.

The dialogue in the film is sharp and humorous, delivered with an endearing awkwardness by the young cast. Lines like “you look like two goddamn prairie dogs” or “cute is better than hot” are funnier and fresher when spoken by children. The chemistry between the main trio is palpable, with Peters’ subtitled dialogue adding to the quirky charm of the film.

At its core, Riddle of Fire celebrates childhood friendships and the bonds that hold them together. Despite their bickering and challenges, The Immortal Lizard Gang supports each other through thick and thin, even befriending a lonely princess along the way. The film’s conclusion is as heartwarming as a blueberry pie, serving a satisfying and rewarding payoff.