Dragon Wars Reviews
People seem to praise the special effects, but I have to disagree. While the CGI monsters themselves are very well made, the actual compositing (the integration of the CGI into the live action footage, as well as greenscreen work) is terribly done, resulting in the monsters often looking poorly pasted on top of the picture and not at all like they're actually there.
Unless you are wowed by the special effects, this movie has little to offer. It's too terrible to be enjoyed by its own merits, and too tedious and generic to be enjoyed ironically. Don't waste your time.
So Bad it's good rating: 3,5/5
"Dragon Wars" a.k.a. "D-War" is a pretty lousy movie, but at least it's got one thing going for it: Dragons! It's the story of Ethan Kendrick (Jason Behr). He's the reincarnation of a man who, 500 years ago was charged with protecting a princess from the evil Buraki, a giant serpent. The woman in question, has been reincarnated as Sarah (Amanda Brooks). The young woman contains the essence of the Yeouiju, which can transform a serpent like Buraki (an Imugi) into a Celestial Drago, but only when she turns 20. It's nearing Sarah's birthday and Buraki sends his army of dinosaurs, dragons and soldiers to go get her! Ethan must save Sarah or she will be instrument in the destruction of our world... or whatever consequences Buraki transforming into a dragon will have.
When this movie features the dragons, it's awesome. There is a nice variety in the creatures that attack the humans and we get two good, long scenes featuring them. There is one scene in the past, where they simply annihilate the village where the past lives of Sarah and Ethan are living and one in the present where they battle helicopters, tanks and soldiers. We've got soldiers riding velociraptor-like dinosaurs, we've got two-legged Blastoise-like monster with cannons on their backs, we've got flying dragons and sword-wielding ground troops. The battle sequences with these guys are really awesome and the special effects are top-notch. We also get some cool moments where the evil Buraki goes on a rampage in present day. The scenes where it is slithering across crowded streets, knocking hundreds of cars over, crawling over buildings, encircling skyscrapers in its coils and eating people is truly awesome. We even get a pretty sweet Imugi vs. Imugi battle and a dragon vs. Imugi fight towards the end of the movie. If you just like seeing giant monsters wrecking stuff, there's a lot to like here.
Whenever there are only people talking in the movie, without any dragons anywhere near them, it's downright terrible. This is the kind of movie where characters really under-react to the destruction that's around them. Craig Robinson in particular looks really unenthusiastic, even when being chased by a towering serpent capable of reducing buildings to dust. You can tell no one's priorities were in any of the scenes were people are acting too, because for no discernible reason, no one ever sees the monster moving as long as it's off-screen and every single person in the world, except for that one comedic guy no one believes, is fast-asleep whenever the monsters show up. Even from an overall story level though, this is really bad. The climax of the movie gets resolved in a Deus-Ex Machina that really cheapens the movie and makes it obvious that writer/director Shim Hyung-rae wrote himself into a corner and had no idea what to do with his own story. The movie becomes really laughable in hindsight because you realize if a character in the past hadn't been a total moron, the whole situation could have been avoided and millions of lives would have been spared.
What this movie has going for it is the laughable storyline, which includes flashbacks within flashbacks, a confusing story that's just an excuse to tie in scenes of monsters wrecking civilizations together and a half-dozen clunky moments of characters interacting with each other that will leave you scratching your head in confusion. The special effects are good and pretty exciting, but the story sucks. That means the movie is great for making fun of and makes for a great background movie at your party. When people are talking your guests can either laugh or ignore the movie. When the dragons start wrecking the place, it'll make for great conversation. I say rent "D-War" (I think that title is so nutty it's awesome) on Blu-ray, watch it with your buddies that want to have some laughs and you'll have a good time. (On Blu-ray, June 20, 2014)