‘Dragon Wars: D-War’ Review: None of This is Making any Sense

Posted in The Screening Room by - June 21, 2015

For my written review this week, our staff writer Yashar used his movie pick for my schedule to select D-Wars, which is sometimes referred to as Dragon Wars. Luckily it’s early in the month, and I can only hope this film is washed down with some quality movies. Unfortunately, I still had to watch D-Wars. It is literally one of the most nonsensical movies I’ve ever seen.

The first 13 minutes of D-Wars is made up of entire scenes of exposition set in ancient Korea. It describes the first time an evil creature tried to get himself some dragon super powers to take over the world with. It has an army of knights escorting squadrons of blob like lizards up to city walls in order to fire cannons. The exposition and the talking head that is Robert Forester explains that the evil creature’s bid for power was only thwarted because a pair of star crossed lovers threw themselves over a cliff and died. Unfortunately, what was supposed to happen was that the male was supposed to take the girl to a sacred cave and kill her. Since the plan fell through, the ancient evil was only sent in to a deep slumber instead of being destroyed for good.

After all this exposition, the story that actually matters is, in simplest terms, An old kung fu wizard tells a ten year old boy who’s dad leaves in a pawn shop that he is the white, American reincarnation of an ancient Korean hero that fucked up in fulfilling the prophecy on the first go round, and has been reborn to do it all over again. The boy buys this completely, growing up to become a famous news reporter who tells his black friend Bruce about the prophecy and doesn’t get put in a looney bin. Bruce helps the man find the woman he is destined to fall in love with and instructed to kill in a sacred cave in order to stop an evil being that can turn in to a dragon from devouring or ruling the world. Once the star crossed lovers meet, they run through whatever city they’re in, being chased by a giant snake, or dragon, or whatever, all of which is inter-cut with scenes in which a zoo keeper spends time in the insane asylum for telling people he’s seeing giant snakes, because when these people turn to look, the snake has just left the window.

If those two paragraphs of description sound exhausting, insane, and confusing, then you get half of an idea what D-Wars is like. However, it doesn’t even begin to cover the structure of story telling and scene composition. Characters are introduced and subsequently left behind to supposedly be eaten by dragons regularly and without warning or preamble. Supporting characters appear and disappear within scenes as is convenient for the story, without even throw away lines explaining where they went. No name extras perform actions that are completely illogical and pointless, presumably because the old pawn shop owner can change his face to look like everyone that the two main characters have ever known. Even the main characters go through plot points with no connection between them. At one point the female lead, named Sarah, goes from filing a police report about an attempted mugging from which she escaped untouched, to being in a hospital, to being under quarantine at the hospital for “an unexplained mark on her skin”. Even the dragon is a nonsensical entity of plot holes and absurdity. At one point it catches a helicopter the two leads are flying away in by the landing skid and then proceeds to hold it in midair like a statue for long enough for the leads to leap from the helicopter and back to the rooftop they just left, immediately throwing the helicopter to the ground as soon as it’s targets are no longer in danger.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that the US government some how knows about the ancient, magically hidden, Korean prophecy, puts together that the creatures are dragons, and then sends Apache helicopters after it to try and kill it? Eventually the film devolves in to cops and soldiers versus weird versions of dinosaurs carrying ancient cannon technology, but that occurs 48 minutes in to the film and ends five minutes later. Even those five minutes get old real quick, since the graphics are only a little better than those found on the Sy-Fy channel. The conflict of the film is resolved when an amulet the pawn shop owner gave the lead male character in the beginning of the film finally activates, lighting up and turning the evil minions, those that aren’t the boss and the lead henchman, in to ash. It also defeats the lead henchman when he stabs it with his sword and gets turned in to a ghost. Then the boss dragon thing is killed when a good dragon thing comes out of nowhere and kills it, before eating Sarah’s life force and becoming, essentially, God. After the evil dragon is killed, the good dragon gives the lead male a vision of Sarah, who tells him not to be sad, and that they will be together again

D-Wars had a budget of 35 million dollars. It grossed just over 10 million in the United States, but managed to make 75 million internationally. It is one of the most terrible pieces of film that I have ever seen, and I have watched a whole lot of crap. It’s not even so bad that it’s good, because there is no continuity, and the audience spends most of it’s time asking where such and such person came from, instead of thinking up funny jokes. None of the performances or the soundtrack are worth particular mention, as they are all ranged between terrible and forgettable. The most notable aspect of the entire movie is that it uses the Wilhelm scream not once, but twice,

In short, don’t watch D-Wars. It’s a nonsensical piece of cinematic turd, and the reason why it, of all Korean cinema, was the first in three decades to see large scale theatrical release in The States is beyond me. If you really must watch this film, try it with the RiffTrax audio and see if it’s at least consumable, because it can’t be any worse.

Final Say: Skip It

This post was written by

Born in Arizona, he currently resides in Denton, Texas. When he isn’t watching movies he’s playing board games and drinking whatever he can get his hands on. John watches Djimon Honsou movies because he likes Spawn, which had Michael Jai White.

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