Dragon Wars: D-War sounds like a movie that I aught to enjoy. It has dragon in the title. It features large creatures fighting each other. I mean, that’s fucking Jamie bait right there. I missed it in the theaters and had nearly forgotten of its existence until this past Saturday when Audrey and I were cruising the Hulu for something to watch. D-War randomly popped up and we both looked at each other, knowingly. Oh, it’s on! So we clicked play and settled in for what we thought was going to be a movie about dragons.
I am here to tell you that Dragon Wars is a total misnomer. It should be called Giant Snake Wars. No, scratch that. Wars implies more than one thing fighting. It should be called Giant Snake Attack. It’s bad and not the enjoyable kind of bad where you invite your friends over for a bad movie night and make fun of the fucker all night long. It’s the kind of bad where you regret that you spent time watching it rather than sanding your skin off.
The plot is a jumbled mess, so this review is going to jump around in no apparent chronological order.
Jason Behr, Mush Mouth
Jason Behr stars as Ethan, our fated hero. I can’t understand a fucking word he says in this thing. He swallows every line of dialog. Perhaps it’s an acting technique. Perhaps low-talking is supposed to bring a certain gravitas to his performance. Perhaps the director told him to speak as if every line was the most important thing he would ever say, ever. It makes it difficult to give two shits about a character when you can’t understand anything he’s saying.
Ethan is a terrible lead. Besides being “fated” to protect the lady chick imbued with the dragon ball (more on that in a bit), there’s no reason for him to be our hero. He’s some kind of reporter, but he has no heroing skills. His idea of tactics is to RUN. He can’t fight worth a damn. He’s not even a good investigator which is part of his damn job. He relies on his camera man to find the girl. He’s pretty useless and a terrible character to carry a movie. And I thought this thing was going to be able dragons!
The Girl With a Shitty Dragon Tattoo
According to Korean legend, every 500 years a girl is born with the power to transform a giant snake into a heavenly dragon. Should an evil snake gain that power, the world will fall into darkness. The girl will be born with the mark of a shitty dragon tattoo on her shoulder.
Now because she’s a girl, she must be protected by a manly warrior. And this kind of annoyed me. If the lady has the dragon ball inside of her, shouldn’t that give her some awesome powers? Shouldn’t she be like this badass warrior chick? Or at least have some kind of mystical wisdom? I mean, she should have some kind of dragon traits. But no, she’s just a doormat waiting to be protected by her warrior man.
In a flash back to ancient Korea, we get to see the warrior guy and the chick fall in love. When she turns 20, she’s supposed to be sacrificed to the good snake so that the world will be awesome and happy. Of course, the bad snake raises an army of evil to pursue them both. Instead of chucking his girlfriend to the good snake, the warrior man decides that they both should commit suicide and live together in death. Huh? Whatever. They both die and no one gets to be a dragon. And then we get brought into modern times.
At least the warrior man that we see in the prologue is an actual warrior. Five hundred years later, he’s reincarnated as Ethan, the lame reporter with mush mouth. Shouldn’t he be like a cop or ex military or bouncer or something remotely warrior-like? A fucking reporter? How the shit is he supposed to protect anyone?
Oh, I guess I should mention the girl. Amanda Brooks plays Sarah who is the reincarnated girl with a shitty dragon tattoo. Much like Ethan, there’s nothing remotely interesting about Sarah. She has a book full of ancient Chinese script that is supposed to protect her which is weird considering that this movie is directed by a Korean guy, but other than running and screaming, we don’t learn all that much about her. She’s a boring character so there’s no emotional impact at all when she ultimately sacrifices herself so that the good snake can turn into a dragon.
Also, why are they both reincarnated in Los Angeles? Why couldn’t this thing have taken place in modern day Korea? Then we’d at least get to stare at Korean Pop Sensation Rain all day! Bah!
Ancient Korean Secret, Rocket Launchers
Look at these fucking things!
In ancient Korea, the evil snake’s evil army has a bunch of these rocket launching creatures. They fucking rule. So if the evil snake’s army had these things 500 years ago, why hasn’t evil conquered Korea? Did they just go away when the warrior dude decided to chuck himself and the girl off a cliff? I mean, yeah, the snake has to wait another 500 years for the chance to become a dragon and all that, but in the mean time, why not stick around and run the place? It would make it a whole lot easier to send an entire nation out to capture the shitty dragon tattoo lady. And you’d fucking dominate with those rocket launching monsters.
In ancient times, the warrior is given a pendant. It looks pretty rad, but we don’t really know what it’s for. It doesn’t glow when it’s near the girl with the dragon ball. It doesn’t react when it’s near one of the snakes. Yet somehow, it’s a big deal when the warrior chucks the pendant before he goes cliff diving with his dragon ball girlfriend.
Ethan is given the pendant and told it’s supposed to protect him as it did in his previous ancient Korean life. We kind of forget it’s there until the final battle when Ethan faces off against the leader of the evil snake’s army who is some wrinkly old White dude because why exactly? Anyway, Ethan tries to swing a sword at the evil general but because he’s a useless twat, the general easily disarms Ethan. The general delivers the killing blow and manages to hit the pendant making him go all explodey. Lame.
So let’s get this straight. All the warrior guy had to do in the first place was chuck his jewelry at evil and he’d win? That’s kind of anti-climactic.
Good is Laaaaaaazy
Ethan and Sarah spend the entire movie running away from the evil snake and its army of evil. The good snake is absolutely nowhere to be found. Isn’t this supposed to be a war? What the fuck? The good snake is just as big as the bad one! Get off your fucking slithery stomach and help these useless people you fucking cow! Goddamn, I want to see monsters fighting, not people running! What the fuck is going on!
We finally get a proper monster fight at the end when the good snake appears out of fucking nowhere and eats Sarah’s dragon power. The good snake turns into a heavenly dragon and we get to see where all the money in the effects budget went. It’s a great scene, but it’s too little too late. The entire movie should have been like this. For fuck’s sake, we were promised a fucking DRAGON WAR!
And You’re Kissing Why, Exactly?
Sarah gets locked in her hospital room because the doctors are worried that her tattoo might be some kind of infection. Um, WHAT?! Ethan eventually figures out that Sarah is at the hospital and gains access to her room because he’s a reporter. These are actual things that occur in this wretched excuse for a film. So this is their absolute first meeting. He rescues her from the hospital and they drive away.
The next scene we get is Sarah and Ethan walking on the beech. They turn awkwardly towards each other and, for absolutely no apparent reason, kiss.
That’s the way to do it, fellas. Rescue a chick from quarantine and she’ll jump your bones on the beech.
FUCK THIS MOVIE!
Okay, the fact that they fell in love as Koreans is not enough to justify getting it on as two random strangers in LA. They just met! Sure, there’s a lot of adrenaline pumping around after running away from a giant snake, but unless Ethan or Sarah are both whores, there’s got to be more than just adrenaline to justify a first kiss. I’d say there was a scene cut, but that would be giving this thing way too much benefit of the doubt.
Darryl Philips, Man of Legend
Craig Robinson is in this and it’s difficult to see him as anyone but Darryl from “The Office.” He must have laughed his ass off everyday of filming this stinking turd. A paycheck is a paycheck and at least they didn’t kill him. His character actually does more to find and save Sarah than Ethan. Why couldn’t he have been the reincarnated warrior?
There’s some shit in there with the military that I haven’t bothered to mention and some CIA or FBI or Unnamed Federal Agency agents and shootings and stuff. Did they add anything at all to the plot? Nope.
This movie pissed me off. No dragons. Boring characters. NO DRAGONS. Don’t fucking tease me like that! You have the CG budget. Stop wasting time on those rocket launching monsters and make me some goddamn dragons! Bleh.
Do not watch this. Don’t even bring it up for a bad movie night. It’s worth the bandwidth.