89 of 112 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I am a 56-year-old movie buff and right off let me confess, I love this movie.
In my opinion this movie was never intended to be taken seriously at all. Consider that in the first exposition scenes you have not one, but 2 entirely different characters in different scenes say directly to the narrator in the middle of his attempted explanation of this nonsensical tale "what are you talking about?" I don't believe this was accidental folks, this is called comedy.
One thing to be aware of when you're watching this movie is that the director is the most popular comedian in the entire country of Korea. He gained his fame and fortune as comedic actor. In other words his entire professional career has been based on making people laugh.
I think most people who are reviewing this movie are completely missing the comedy. Frankly I found the movie to be hilarious.
How anyone could possibly take this movie seriously after seeing the Darth Vader character stupidly get run over by a car 2 times in a row is beyond me. That was obviously comedy (and very funny).
Yes it is entirely overblown. Layers of complete absurdity are piled with additional layers of even more absurdity. Which makes it a perfect satire of the Star Wars, Lord of the rings, Harry Potter and all of the rest of the overly pompous mega-movies. If there is a big overblown scene in one of those movies you're going to see a similar scene in this one.
A few examples. The Gungan Army scene from Star Wars episode 4 -- only this time the Army with the cute, smiling dinosaur critters with the weapons on their backs are the bad guys. And these smiling dinosaurs are wreaking total havoc on Los Angeles fighting the LAPD. The incongruity of the destruction and the cute smiley dinosaurs is absolutely hilarious.
Remember the giant explosion scene in Independence Day with the flames and flying cars rushing up the street? It's here, but with a very funny twist. In this movie the same thing is done by a giant snake rushing up the street. The exorcism scene in the Exorcist? Yep, it's here too, tossed in like the kitchen sink, completely unconnected to any plot points.
Giant marching Imperial Army and Ninjas? Sure enough. Darth Vader character with a ridiculously laughable sinister voice? Of course. Rampaging Jurassic Park dinosaurs? You got it. Dogfights straight out of Independence Day? It's here too.
Savor the site of Ray Harryhausen look-alike creatures doing massive destruction that Ray most certainly dreamed of, but couldn't accomplish with the technology of his day. I can tell you that he is smiling in his grave cause this movie delivers a wonderful tribute to his work.
Let me name a few more of the movies that have tributes here. Pitch Black, King Kong, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Men in Black, Dragonheart, Ghostbusters, Godzilla, Ninja Mutant Turtles, the Host, The Thing, Rodan and even Monty Python and the holy Grail. It doesn't stop there, look carefully and you'll see many many more.
Does the acting suck? Absolutely. Is the story completely incomprehensible? It most certainly is. Is it even more ridiculous than Star Wars, Lord of the rings or dozens of others. Yes it is, and I believe that was exactly the point.
I predict this movie will be watched at midnight showings at colleges 10 years from now with folks rolling in the aisles.
I have seen lots of Hollywood studio comedies recently and have not laughed nearly as hard as I did watching Dragon wars. I literally had tears streaming from my eyes many times because I couldn't stop laughing.
So give yourself a break from any pretensions of seriousness, have a glass of wine and have a fun time watching and laughing at the funniest, most ridiculous spectacular eye candy CGI movie ever.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Dont listen to the fan-boys and convention geeks!
They were convinced that they would hate this movie before they even saw it. This movie is alot of fun. Sure, it's silly and dumb but so what, it's about dragons fighting in Los Angeles for pete's sake!
This reminds m of alot of the Sci-Fi flicks that came out in the early eighties such as "Beastmaster" and "Sword and the Sorcerer" the special effects are great and the action scenes are awesome. Grab a 12 pack and a box of popcorn and just enjoy this cute little action packed flick. It's not going to change your life but it will give you a 90 minute smile!
This would make a great double feature with "The Host"- enjoy!!
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Ok, I gave it four stars cuz no one else had rated it 4 stars yet.
Honestly, I didn't think this was that bad a movie (given what others posted) - I enjoyed it - least most of it (bought & watched the DVD). I think this would a been a great movie if it wasn't for a few things. Number one problem (IMO) was the lead male character - I don't know if it was the actor (Jason Behr, I think) or just the character he was playing, but he just seemed to suck the life out of every scene he was in. I think if his character had a bit more personality, the movie would have been a lot better. The editor could have done a bit more with the pacing of the movie - it is a bit uneven in places. Felt like you were hitting speed bumps during some parts.
What I did like: The special effects were great! Reminded me of the CGI from the latest Star Wars movies (wouldn't be surprised if some of the same people worked on this movie). Could a used a bit of gore though - the creatures were a bit too "clean". I also liked the ending - especially the type of dragon that the Imoogi turns into - wasn't expecting that.
Would have liked to seen a "behind-the-scenes" documentry on the making of the special effects.
34 of 47 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Here's a piece of advice: if you have a movie called "Dragon Wars," it's probably not a good idea to save the dragon footage for the last five minutes. The rest of the film does showcase a number of other creatures, such as winged dinosaur-hybrids and things that vaguely resemble rhinos. We even get to see gigantic snakes that have the potential to become dragons. But where are the actual dragons? Why keep us waiting until the end? This is but one example of how hopelessly incompetent this film is; "Dragon Wars"--or "D-War," or whatever it's called--is an attempt but not an actual end result, an absolute mess filled with unconvincing special effects, horrendous performances, and a plot I neither understood nor cared about.
The film opens with a Los Angeles news reporter named Ethan Kendrick (Jason Behr) trying to get the latest scoop on an explosion. Not much is known about what happened; all anyone can determine is that a gigantic, odd-looking animal scale is found under the soil. From what animal, no one knows. But whatever it comes from, seeing it triggers a number of flashback sequences, the first of which takes place fifteen years ago, when Ethan was only a boy. He and his father enter a local antique shop and meet Jack (Robert Forester), the elusive owner. He notices a strange sight; as Ethan approaches a wooden chest, it opens and reveals a brilliant white light. This signals to Jack that Ethan a destined young boy.
With me so far? Because it only gets worse from here. After sending the father away (by faking a heart attack and begging for help), Jack tells Ethan of an ancient myth that dates back to sixteenth-century Korea. Apparently, titanic serpents called Inoogi are destined to become dragons. For its good deeds, an Inoogi is rewarded--it joins with the soul of a Yuh Yi Joo, after which it ascends to heaven. A Yuh Yi Joo, by the way, is a special girl born once every 500 years--she's recognizable because she has a red dragon tattooed on her left shoulder. Anyway, evil serpents called Buraki have always tried to stop Inoogi from ascending, and they use their minions to find the Yuh Yi Joo and destroy her. Such was the destiny of a young Korean girl back in the 1500s; she fell in love with the guard sworn to protect her, meaning she failed to meet with her destiny. Both the Inoogi and the Buraki remain roaming the earth, waiting for the next Yuh Yi Joo to be born.
I apologize for rambling, but I'm trying to make sense of this story. There's no reason why a ninety-minute film has to have this much crammed into it, especially since none of it is of any interest. If they wanted an escapist film, then they should have made an escapist film; forget the complex details and just give us something entertaining. You'd think that such a convoluted back-story would add a little something, but no, it doesn't. If there's a point to this film, then I have no idea what it is.
But back to the plot. As a boy, Ethan was told that the next Yuh Yi Joo will be a girl named Sarah, and at age twenty, she'll be old enough to converge with the Inoogi. He was also told that he must find and protect her, no matter what. He's then given a special talisman (what makes it special is anyone's guess). Now as an adult, Ethan uses his reporter's skills to track Sarah down; by "reporter's skills," I mean he has his monotone assistant, Bruce (Craig Robinson), do the work for him. This is when we finally meet Sarah (Amanda Brooks), a pretty young girl who was born with a red dragon tattooed on her left shoulder. After seeing news footage of Ethan at the explosion site, she begins to feel funny, as if she knows something terrible is going to happen. Of course, no one believes her, and she soon finds herself locked in a psychiatric ward.
The Buraki, meanwhile, is loose and hot on her trail. I don't bother questioning how it manages to find her, but I do wonder how an 800-foot long snake can go unnoticed until it attacks. How can something so large slither around buildings, over rooftops, and through streets without making even the tiniest noise? Never mind--the point is that it's after Sarah, and Ethan has to protect her from it. Through a series of laughably preposterous circumstances, they find each other and escape from the hospital. After battling the Buraki atop the Federal Building in Downtown Los Angeles, they witness the climactic fight between the Buraki and the Inoogi.
The FBI gets involved about halfway through the film, and at that point, my interest had completely faded. For reasons never adequately explained, they know everything about the dragons and Sarah. They also think that killing Sarah is the only solution to the problem. I wanted to tell these people that another problem exists, one that's even bigger than feuding dragons. The movie itself is the problem; "Dragon Wars" is mind-numbingly bad, the kind of bad that wouldn't even give rise to a cult classic. I wasn't expecting great cinematic art, but at the very least, the filmmakers could have tried to make a fun movie. After all, I just wanted to see some dragons. Was that too much to ask?
25 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Peter L. Romaneski
- Published on Amazon.com
This movie is so terrible... and I mean SO terrible, that you absolutely must see it. But if you see it, you must see it with a large group of people. The movie is so bad in so many ways that it will be hard to describe them, but I can try.
The movie starts off with the most wild concept you can possibly imagine, or rather, the most wild concept that a 4th grader can possibly imagine, then sets it on the big screen. One of the first scenes we get is an army attacking a village... but not just any army! Oh no. This army is full of - get this - huge dinosaurs that look vaguely like a Stegosaurus but they have - sit down for this one - rocket launchers on their backs. And if THAT wasn't enough, these Rocket-Shooting-Stegodons are being ridden by black-clad ninjas!
So these ninjas are riding towards this city on their Stegodons with rocket launchers, right, and whatever 4th grader thought this movie up is not satisfied. So in fly the Pterodactyls that breathe fire. But the Pterodactyls, while cool, are not enough. In rides - now this is the best part by far - raptors (like in Jurassic Park) but riding one of these raptors is... The Shredder! From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! But it doesn't stop there! Then this old Korean wizard flies out of nowhere and does magical/kung-fu battle with the Shredder! All while the dinosaur-riding, rocket-shooting ninjas and their fire-breathing Pterodactyls are tearing up the town!
And that is in the first 15 minutes of the movie.
The kid at the beginning sums up the movie nicely in one of his early lines. Just as the random creepy shopkeeper (who for some reason is safe enough to leave a child with - go figure) is finishing with his wild tale of dinosaurs and grenadier wizards, the kid looks up and says, "Uh, what are you talking about?"
That one line sums up the whole movie. "What are you talking about" is something that will linger in your thoughts while you watch this amazingly, epicly wretched movie.