Theatrical Review: D-War: Dragon Wars

Based on Korean Legend, every five hundred years, fierce dragons and evil mystic warriors appear to keep a legend from being fulfilled, with it’s last attempt at fulfillment being thwarted in the year 1507, consigning the planet to again experience these creatures again, now in the year 2007. Two of these Korean guardians, now reincarnated as a young TV reporter and an antiques dealer, now do what they can to fulfill the legend, even as these creates begin to lay waste to the city of Los Angeles.

And believe me, D-War: Dragon Wars is even more convoluted than what I described above, it’s based on Korean legend anyway, and translated into modern times and in an American environment, it comes off as pretty silly, but with that said I still thought this was a fun movie, if even part of the fun was sitting back and enjoying the film in a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fashion.

The real saving grace of the film is this absolutely incredible battle that goes on between American military forces and these mystic warriors and dragons across the streets of Los Angeles, it’s just fun as hell to watch and probably some of the very best special effects I’ve seen in a movie all year… and the timing of this is right in the film, because up to this point, this was all almost too silly to buy into before this goes down.

But as one of my friends said after we saw the film, “If I was 10 or 11 years old, this would be the coolest movie I’d ever seen” and he’s absolutely right, for a younger audience, this whole thing is probably pretty cool stuff and they wouldn’t be looking at the stuff I found laughable like Jason Behr playing this “seasoned” TV reporter who’s also an angst-ridden twenty-something cliche. Most of what I saw as the silly stuff of the film is in the American characters, and mostly then around Behr and the actress who’s playing Sarah, another reincarnated character important to the legend. Other American actors filling out the cast include Robert Forster, Chris Mulkey, Elizabeth Pena and Billy Gardell, and to give the Korean filmmakers credit, they don’t do anything to these characters that would make them seem stupid. Billy Gardell has the most comedic moments in the film and they’re totally fitting in with the events, and not done as any sort of audience pandering (like say Anthony Anderson in Transformers).

It’s fun stuff overall, but don’t go into this expecting it to be this serious genre film by any means. It’s got some brilliant effects, but at it’s core, it’s B-movie entertainment and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that at all. Go into it thinking that, and I’d expect most adult audiences will have a pretty good time, if you’ve got a small child though, they just might think it’s the coolest thing they’ve ever seen…

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

17. September 2007 by Darren Goodhart
Categories: Text Reviews, Theatrical Review | Leave a comment

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