I am a huge fan of B movies. I am also a big fan of monster movies. Point me to a movie that has that b-movie shlock or an intriguing monster and Iâll surely be there in a flash, ready to devour whatever celluloid offering is served to me.
One of my most cherished movie memories in my childhood was watching Larry Cohenâs Q: The Winged Serpent. Q was my first taste of an over the top plot and also my first glimpse of the infinite possibilities of urban fantasy. Of course, Q was first and foremost a monster movie. Qâs premise was quite exciting for a young boy â a giant flying serpent that lives undiscovered in the skyscrapers of New York City (the Chrysler building to be exact) and who only gets discovered when it starts eating sunbathers. It sounds a bit silly but it is exactly that kind of b-movie-ish absurdity that makes it such a fun film to watch.
You can just imagine how excited I was then when I found out about Dragon Wars: D War. In a forum that usually visit, some of the members were hotly anticipating the movie (which should have been red flag for me, come to think of it). I checked out the teaser trailer for the movie and it really intrigued me. Dragons in a modern day city?! A dragon snaking its way around a skyscraper?! Delightful memories of Q came flooding back. This is one movie I wonât miss.
And I didnât. I did watch Dragon Wars: D War.
And to say I hated it is an understatement.
Dragon Wars: D War is so bad that I donât even know where to start to point out how bad it is. Although the concept on paper was good the actual implementation of that concept is just so atrocious it is wonder this movie still got made. I knew that I was going to watch a bad movie 10 minutes into it. Any writer who decides to use a flashback in order to tell another flashback is not only lazy, he is also unimaginative. And that is what I saw. The main character, Ethan, investigates a strange artifact that was found in a construction site and it triggers a flashback to when he first saw a similar artifact. This is where Robert Forster comes in, and upon meeting the young Ethan, Jack (Forsterâs character) then proceeds to tell another story through another flashback. Itâs a flashback within a flashback, really. And it is unforgivable. The flashbacks also give you a firm idea of how schizophrenic this movie is. I really thought at first that Dragon Wars was going to be an urban fantasy slash monster movie. But director Hyung Rae Shim decided to use this movie as a virtual playground where he can bring to life all of his childhood dreams and fantasies. What you get in the end is a movie that has wuxia, sword and sorcery, Asian fantasy, urban fantasy and sentai elements into the mix. Monster movie indeed, this movie is like Frankenstein, a film awkwardly brought to life by putting together disparate genres without any rhyme or reason.
If the way the movie was directed was awkward then wait till you hear the script. A few minutes into watching the movie I muttered to myself, âI bet the guy the wrote did not grow up speaking English.â And I was right because Director Shim also wrote the script. And the reason for the comment? Every single line is so clichÃ©d like you wouldnât believe. Itâs like he watched all of the Hollywood movies that he could find and picked all of the memorable lines and scenes and plastered it throughout his concept for Dragon Wars. Believe me when I say each line was so painful to hear. It sounds so unnatural.
And speaking of unnatural. The actors definitely acted like zombies. Jason Behr is a competent actor and Robert Forster even got an Academy Award nomination for Jackie Brown, but in this movie itâs like all of the will and talent were sucked out of their bodies. What you are left with are robotic actors who acted as bad as the actors in those Power Rangers TV shows.
If you have a bitter enemy, give him a copy of this movie. Itâs the ultimate revenge.