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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.71%
Worth A Look: 9.59%
Average: 3.42%
Pretty Bad: 8.9%
Total Crap51.37%

4 reviews, 122 user ratings

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Dragon Wars (D-War)
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by Jay Seaver

"75% 1-star, 25% 4-star."
2 stars

Every once in a while, people look at my DVD shelf and ask why some movie or other is there, since they've heard me talk about how it stank. In the case of movies like "Dragon Wars", the explanation is that occasionally one-star movies can have four-star pieces to them. I don't think "Dragon Wars" will end up on my shelf - I've got better impulse control than I once did - but it does do one thing pretty well, even if it's awful otherwise.

And let's be clear - there aren't words for how badly Dragon Wars sucks when the characters open their mouths. Calling them characters is probably generous; Ethan (Jason Behr) and Sarah (Amanda Brooks) are walking plot devices in service to a crappy story. Along with Jack (Robert Forster), they are reincarnations of players in a story of a girl prophecized to merge with an "Imoogu" (as sort of giant snake creature) so that it could become a "celestial dragon" which took place in 1507 Korea, although another giant snake has decided it wants to become a dragon, so he and his army are looking to grab the girl first. Since the virgin sacrifice and her protector fell in love and jumped off a cliff, everything apparently got put on hold for five hundred years, until Sarah's twentieth birthday. Now, there's giant snakes appearing in the Los Angeles area, but Ethan has apparently fallen in love with Sarah again and is looking to defy the prophecy, because reincarnated couples just don't learn.

Chosen ones, prophecy, reincarnation, and destiny are generally crutches used by lazy writers, and that's the case here. Nothing Ethan and Sarah do is really their decision; they're dragged along for the ride as much as we are. Jack is a walking, shapeshifting plot device, appearing in various guises and basically pointing the other characters toward where the filmmaker wants them next. Nobody, between bouts of ridiculous-sounding exposition, says anything memorable, supporting characters appear and disappear as is convenient, and some pieces feel like they were put together in the wrong order. The finale takes place near a giant temple that you'd think people would have noticed being in the Greater Los Angeles area.

The cast is mostly people who look vaguely familiar, and none manage to distinguish themselves. I know some of them have done good work, Forster in particular, and I'm curious as to why they outright stink here. Part of it's director Shim Hyung-rae's terrible script, of course, but the cast doesn't even seem to be trying.

So why bother? Because in the middle of the movie, the evil giant serpent, and his evil general (Michael Shamus Wiles) spawn themselves an army of men, western-style dragons, and giant salamanders with missile launchers on their backs (they were somehow around in 1507 Korea, too, with no explanation given for their disappearance and reemergence) with which to attack L.A. and get at Sarah, while the National Guard breaks out their guns, tanks, and helicopters to fight back. And this, I have to admit, is a ton of fun. In contrast to the rest of the movie, Shim is actually pretty good at this. This sequence is an enthusiastic throwback to old-school disaster/monster movies with modern special effects, and folks still suffering from motion sickness from this summer's Hollywood blockbusters will probably appreciate Shim's decision to hold the camera still and not cut every three seconds so that we can actually see the mayhem. Sure, we see the occasional flaw because of it, but, honestly, it's not always a bad thing to be reminded that someone made this; a little fakeness lets things be fun rather than grim.

Do the decent action scenes make up for the terrible everything else? No, not really; the parts of the movie that don't involve giant reptiles wreaking havoc are bad enough to put the audience in a foul mood that makes it harder to appreciate the good stuff. Not impossible, but hard enough that it may not be worth the effort.

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originally posted: 10/05/07 12:58:11
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User Comments

6/30/12 Daniel It's f**cking Horrible! 1 stars
5/01/10 Jerome Cook story - stupid. characters - dumb. CG Effects - awesome. 4 stars
3/19/08 Ruppy I'd rather stick a meant thermoter in my ear than sit through this again 1 stars
2/18/08 Rushabh i dont know if the good dragon won or the bad one it looked to me as if the bad one won 2 stars
1/13/08 Anonymous Only movie I've ever walked out of. 1 stars
11/23/07 ߳ all of the good comment is wriiten by koreans 1 stars
11/20/07 DJ_Boy I'd rather like to see western dragons against eastern dragons! 3 stars
11/04/07 Joe "Wish I could give ZERO stars" - I agree! 1 stars
11/02/07 David better graphics and story than Transformers~ 5 stars
10/27/07 Ashisogi_Jizou If you want dragons, just go watch Reign of Fire. 2 stars
10/20/07 Chuck Wildman I really wanted to like this flick, we'll it was nearly as good as snakes on a plane. 2 stars
10/18/07 Brad Messy and disjointed.Points for the great looking "Eastern" dragon and wanton destruction. 2 stars
10/15/07 Keystra Williams Wish I could give ZERO stars 1 stars
10/10/07 Jack good 5 stars
10/05/07 Kelly Smith The story line was unique.CG was real great,Excellent monster movie! 5 stars
10/05/07 Joon Monster flicks should be rated on completely different criteria from drama-ridden flicks. 5 stars
10/03/07 kim WORST OF WORST OF WORST THERE IS NOTHING TO DESCRIBE IT it sucks, waste of money 1 stars
10/03/07 Harris The CG was breathtaking,the special affect and action really made up for it. 5 stars
10/01/07 Ockham Completely incoherent storyline, two-dimensional characters. This movie is a waste of time 1 stars
9/30/07 Stephen Chang Do I have the option to give 1/3 of a star? 1 stars
9/30/07 Adam should've been released in the same catagory as all those Steven Segall flicks 1 stars
9/29/07 Rose Cho Amazing CG and original dragon story,Recommend to everyone! 5 stars
9/29/07 Chris C This made Attack of the Killer Tomatoes look good. 1 stars
9/28/07 Sonya Sorry my stupid lying Hehe~Actually my 8 year old son is crying he want to see D-WAR AGAIN! 5 stars
9/27/07 Sonya This movie sucked bad, my eight year old son left the movie crying it was chessy 1 stars
9/26/07 Sonia Dragon wars --This movie rocked in every possible way, two thumbs up!! 5 stars
9/26/07 Spartan "Arise... Mighty.... DWADLER!" 1 stars
9/24/07 Tommy OMG, horrible actors. Advice=extend the downtown battle scenes for the whole 1.22 hours 1 stars
9/24/07 Thomas Best graphics ever,The graphics and action were awesome, Two thumbs up! 5 stars
9/24/07 John y the hell did korea let this crap go international? they have amazing movies, but y this?? 1 stars
9/23/07 Spazzu I...I had no idea what was going on. I really, really didn't...Srsly, guys. UR DOIN IT RONG 3 stars
9/23/07 BeforeDawn just in case ppl get the wrong idea-a lot of Koreans thought this movie was crap too 1 stars
9/23/07 Bill Gosse Trash 1 stars
9/22/07 Conker Other than the poor acting I enjoyed it. 3 stars
9/22/07 Jin Joo Really interesting, especially the action was perfect ! 5 stars
9/22/07 Dman (so its different, and foreign, so what? I went on $5 Tuesday) You think it was horrible? Go high, then you'll laugh, listen, and love the action! 5 stars
9/21/07 Buraki Imoogi boogie schmoogie doogie I've pooped turds that smelled better than this movie. 1 stars
9/21/07 drew smith Dragon wars --This movie rocked in every possible way, two thumbs up!! 5 stars
9/21/07 Plato Lee Jackson This movie was so bad that it was actually funny! No harm intended to Koreans! 1 stars
9/21/07 Pope Korky I Oh CROIKY, this movie was TERRIBLE!!!! 1 stars
9/20/07 Gene It was so bad, it was totally hilarious!! Had me laughing the whole time... 4 stars
9/20/07 Chris The movie had a lot of potential, too bad the director sabotaged it horrbily. 1 stars
9/20/07 Kor3an I bet you will laugh enough and visually enjoyed with CG, if you are open minded 4 stars
9/20/07 Arnold It's was OK 5 stars
9/20/07 Dawit Seong the story kind of sucked, but the graphic was great; something that only few nations can do 4 stars
9/20/07 Ming Not bad.. CG was good , 2 stars
9/20/07 korean I slep in the theater 1 stars
9/19/07 lawdiva It sucked really really really BAAAAD!! 1 stars
9/19/07 Richard So cool.. CG Fantastic!! 5 stars
9/19/07 Kelly Smith The story line was unique.CG was real great,Excellent monster movie! 5 stars
9/19/07 young so so..... 3 stars
9/19/07 HarryCallahan This should have by-passed straight to video,into the bargain bin 1 stars
9/18/07 Josh The acting was realy bad, but the special affect and action really made up for it. 4 stars
9/18/07 Emily I learned Imoogi moves right and left, and dragon moves up and down. That's all 2 stars
9/18/07 Marcy Movie was the bomb!! It rocked and korean myth was cool. 5 stars
9/18/07 Lavada Screw all of you! the story was great, and the action ! 5 stars
9/18/07 loving this site admire director's courage..great attempt! loved it! 4 stars
9/18/07 Mike I really regret my money,I would like to meet the writer of the script and ask for my money 1 stars
9/18/07 Sung Min I'm a proud Korean and I gotta say this was just garbage. We need Chan Wook Park in the U.S 1 stars
9/18/07 Sara WTF did I just watch? Complete trash, I think 1 stars
9/18/07 ham crap? hell no. the CG was 100%perfeCt. Great Movie. ACtion aNd CG JOb was aMazing 5 stars
9/18/07 Jason crap. 1 stars
9/18/07 Jim shigemi Dragon wars --This movie rocked in every possible way, two thumbs up!! 5 stars
9/18/07 big lou I can't wait to see this movie --- on Mystery Science Theater!!! 1 stars
9/18/07 HAROLD the CG Graphic quality in Dragon war was gorgeous. The story line was pretty unique ! 5 stars
9/17/07 Ralph If you think it was on a par with Godzilla and Jurassic Park, you oviously didn't see those 1 stars
9/17/07 steve all my friends say dragon war is the best movie of the year. we loved it 5 stars
9/17/07 Deanna Did crack heads make this movie? We laughed ourselves silly. 1 stars
9/17/07 nayoun kim I was laughing at some childish scenes but amazing CG and original dragon story. 4 stars
9/17/07 Dylon Man, it's an action movie, obviously the people who though it sucked, weren't high 5 stars
9/17/07 Rexx So bad, a waste of time and money. 1 stars
9/17/07 Richard I don't usually care about anything else on action movies except for the action. not bad 5 stars
9/17/07 Chris Only great when around friends and making fun of it. 1 stars
9/17/07 Sonya All my friends enjoyed D-WAR ! 5 stars
9/17/07 John acting was stiff, SFX were amazing, awesome action movie 4 stars
9/17/07 Lakemich Great movies for kids, lots of action and explosion. 4 stars
9/17/07 Rachel I think it was pretty interesting.. 5 stars
9/17/07 John it was the worst movie ever. 0 out of 100 1 stars
9/16/07 Sean McL Worst movie Ive seen in a loong time...I wanted to walk out! 1 stars
9/16/07 Anthony Not sure what worse , the acting , the plot or the SFX 1 stars
9/16/07 sunny Wonderful story~Better than "Under dog"!!! 5 stars
9/16/07 Carlie I, surprisingly liked the movie. It wasn't the best movie but it was fun. 4 stars
9/16/07 Billy so.. Good!!.. to sleep.. 1 stars
9/16/07 Jeff Anderson Just Horrible 1 stars
9/16/07 Tracy This movie was just plain horrible, terrible acting, editing, direction, and story. 1 stars
9/16/07 Tyler WORST Move i have EVER seen!! 1 stars
9/16/07 oh come on people you are being too harsh -0- just to balance 5 stars
9/16/07 Tommy Yes, acting sucked, especially the storyline, but the action was great fun. 4 stars
9/16/07 Stephen I should've thought twice about it. Acting sucked and so did the story line. 1 stars
9/16/07 Bill This could single handedly inspire Servo and the boys to bring back MST3K. 1 stars
9/16/07 Tony Young Best review yet for this trite, sexist retarded crapfest 1 stars
9/16/07 Jay Lee Crap, Crap , Crap, Crap , Crap, Crap 1 stars
9/16/07 Eric Good story, poorly told. But action sequences were breathtaking. See on big screen! 4 stars
9/16/07 mike i really like the LA fighting scene whocares about the deep story line is an action film 5 stars
9/15/07 Ricky the actors stunk.but this movie is kew~! 5 stars
9/15/07 Andy This picture was cheating the kids in summer vacation in Korea and out of their parents $ 1 stars
9/15/07 1818 yeah.... well it was little bit childish but pretty good nice try... nice try 4 stars
9/15/07 Danny Not bad. i dont know why ppl give 1 star 5 stars
9/15/07 Carlos Hey My 5th Grader worked on this flim it was an end of year project. but he a retard. 1 stars
9/15/07 Lauren Wasted an hour and a half of my life that I'll sadly never get back. 1 stars
9/15/07 D-war worst movie ever...korea should get nuked for this 1 stars
9/15/07 sylvia great pictures! 5 stars
9/15/07 Debbie What an incredibly bad, boring Godzilla/Power Ranger remake! The actors stunk. 1 stars
9/15/07 Stephen A Mystery Science Theater worthy piece of crap. 1 stars
9/15/07 david better graphics and story than Transformers~ 5 stars
9/15/07 Kitty I went with five friends, and we ended up just heckling it. CGI was great, though. 2 stars
9/15/07 Sam Gardner The Secretary of Defense takes a shotgun off the wall and cocks it.. 500 miles away from LA 1 stars
9/15/07 Erica Anderson for special effect!!! story was kind of hard to understand but i think...pretty good movie! 5 stars
9/15/07 super cool dude so amazingly bad, that it was so amazingly hilarious, its snakesonaplane but w/ more action 1 stars
9/15/07 Mike I didn't know they made movies as bad as this anymore!!I was wrong... 1 stars
9/15/07 Lorper Par Alsome movie first movie to have a korean producer but the movie in english 5 stars
9/15/07 Aaron This movie was awesome precisely because I went with friends and we heckled it mercilessly. 4 stars
9/15/07 Eric Heba If you want to lose an hour and a half of your life, go see this movie 1 stars
9/15/07 Eddie This movie was horrible.. an over done Godzilla movie. 1 stars
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  14-Sep-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Jan-2008



Directed by
  Hyung-rae Shim

Written by

  Jason Behr
  Amanda Brooks
  Robert Forster
  Elizabeth Pea
  Chris Mulkey
  Craig Robinson
  Holmes Osbourne

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