Thursday, 19 May 2011

Dragon Wars (Film Review)

Written and Directed by “Shim Hyung-rae” and marketed to be the biggest thing in Korean cinema history and also the most expensive at a staggering cost of over $75 million dollars, this gigantic Korean blockbuster made to appeal to Korean Nationalism and culture was critically hurt and backlashed by American critics. Even Korean critics acted out as well but not as many.
But if you ask me it wasn’t completely terrible and it was very imaginative but it was just some aspects that ruined it. Though I do agree with one of the critics reviews from Korea stating that…
“It was made to succeed in foreign markets; it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good”  

Based on Korean Legend and it stats that a young woman is born who is the Princess to the throne of the Dragons a blood line that moves throw the ages, These young girls will grow up and protect mankind until they are crowned and made Empress of the Dragons. Though if evil kills her the world and Dragon kind will bring darkness to the world. This blood line is severed in ancient Korea when the young girl kills herself to protect the world in it stated that many years later this blood line will appear again.
And it does in Los Angles in the year 2007. It’s up to young reporter Ethan Kendrick to protect Sarah who is the next Empress to the throne and also to stop the world from throwing into darkness.

-Story…Well the story does itself follow Korean legends quite well and that ending scene was amazing, But it tries to be funny most times and sometimes you will ask WHY THE HELL DID THEY SET IT IN AMERICA? Although there is a rather long segment set in Korea at one stage. I am rather mixed on some parts in the story, If I should call this story epic or just plain crap… If it is based on legends it should be set in Korea not the U.S.A, If they had have done the story right I would have called this amazing and of course fix some problems in the movie with dialogue and ECT.
The characters I am the same on and very mixed on, I just thought they were un-interesting and dull most of the time.

-Acting…Well the acting isn’t horrible and it’s a big improvement over Shim’s last film Reptilian by far. Although lead actor Jason Behr isn’t too bad along with veteran actor Robert Forster but its other actors like Amanda Brooks where just annoying and acted horrible…It’s mostly because Shims limited direction and mostly relaying the film on CGI and Special Effects. But why Robert Foster was in this is beyond me…
In a matter of fact I am watching Shim’s original prototype of D-War and it has better acting from Korean actors and I might even call it perfect.

-Production…I won’t deny the Special Effects and Set and Costume Designs and as well as the Creature deigns are all so fantastically done, but it seems this were most of the films effort went into and you can tell. This is not the first time Shim has been working with extensive Special Effects, years earlier he made Reptilian to compete with Godzilla (1997) and the film was a disaster with critics all across the world hating every production aspect but some did praise the effects but that’s it and that’s what Shim is only good at. The music score is very well done and it might just be the best thing about the film… The creatures all deigned to accompany Korea culture. And most of all that ending scene was a gigantic Korea Dragon looked wonderful as it flies on to the heavens might be the only good scene in the film.
Though it does has some entertaining battle scene and gigantic ones they look pretty good but nothing more.

-Final…Weather or not it’s a film made to appeal to Korean Nationalism it isn’t horrible but just extremely average in my opinion and made to just make money…Although the films spirit is high but just not high enough to get past some of the films major flaws. Still far better than his last movie though…

Jesse “Dragon Wars” score 5/10


  1. I am really glad to see you review this film Jesse, I saw this trailer back when it first came out and thought it looked decent, but never got to it. Unfortunately I have changed my mind, but I still wouldn't mind seeing it. Great review!

  2. Very interesting review,
    I'd never heard of this before despite it's massive budget and stuff.

    I doubt I will see it, Korea makes loads of great films anyway, so no need to waste my time on average ones!

  3. -Matt: Glade to here it, but if you do be warned many are very negitive on this. But if you need something to view this could be it.

    -Matt: And yes Korea does make some great films, But if anything Kids would really like this avarage film and thanks a lot too.