Dragon Wars

Year: 2007
Production Co: Younggu-Art Movies
Director: Hyung-rae Shim
Writer: Hyung-rae Shim
Cast: Jason Behr, Amanda Brooks, Robert Forster, Chris Mulkey, Elizabeth Pena
I read a lot of really bad reviews of this movie on the web, and after seeing the highly slick visuals of the trailer, I wondered how bad it could possibly be after the highly slick visuals I saw.

The answer is that both are true. The movie is shockingly acted, scripted and (mostly) directed. Like George Lucas, director Hyung-Rae Shim knows action, visuals and CGI. It's when inconveniences like characters, narrative and exposition get in the way he fumbles badly.

The story is the worst kind of amateur tripe you can see on a movie screen. Where Hollywood movies are amateur tripe, they know how to dress themselves up in pop culture, pacing and editing that tricks you into thinking they're clever, but there's no such skill here.

It deals with an old Korean legend about dragons returning to Earth every century to devastate humankind - or some crap - and this time they're about to descend on urban Los Angeles.

And when they do, D War takes off. It's everything fans wish Reign of Fire was, ancient weaponry and CG dragons fighting the modern military with rocket launchers, tanks and attack copters and causing destructive mayhem in a major city. The movie has a healthy does of outrageous 'what if this happened?' bravado and that's it's one (and only) strength.

Put Shim's eye for action and creature design together with a script by Paul Haggis or Stuart Beattie and you'd have something for the ages.

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