Dragon Wars
Stop running! If it eats you, the film can end!

Theatrical Release Date: 08/01/2007 (South Korea), 09/14/2007 (USA)
Director: Hyung-rae Shim
Cast: Jason Behr, Amanda Brooks, Robert Forster

How do you say “Great Googly Imoogi” in Korean? Because that’s about the best way to sum up the South Korean big budget extravaganza, “Dragon Wars”.

The “Imoogi” is a dragon (though in the film they are big snakes aspiring to be dragons) and there’s a good Imoogi and a bad Imoogi (there’s two sides to every Imoogi) … IMOOGI! (Sorry, just wanted to write it another time in this paragraph.)

The plot is supposedly based on a Korean legend about big monsters destroying the planet or some such thing. All you need to know is that every 500 years, there’s a girl born with a mystical birthmark shaped like a dragon and she needs to be sacrificed upon her 20th birthday. She can be killed for good or bad, thus shaping the world’s future, or lack thereof.

To help the good guys win, Robert Forster and Jason Behr are the reincarnated versions of the heroes from the prologue of the film. For some reason, although Forster has all sorts of cool powers, he can’t just go grab the girl (Amanda Brooks) and kill her off for the good of the Earth.

Noooo …. he’s got to help the “Roswell” alien king stay alive long enough to kill the girl himself. Don’t worry about this plot hole, there are dozens more to distract you with.

Now, I’m sure no one is surprised this film isn’t strong from a script standpoint … but even I, the unofficial master of crappy film enjoyment, didn’t see “Dragon Wars” coming.

This film is so bad (how bad is it?) … it’s so bad that I had to make up an entirely new word since Craptactular doesn’t do it justice. No, “Dragon Wars” is TREMENDABAD.

From the beginning, the story moves along in spurts, like a car on its last few drops of gas. The characters will find themselves pinned in a storyline corner, only to have some mystical explanation whisk them away to the next implausible situation.

There are little scenes littered throughout the film that just don’t make sense or help the plot at all. It’s as if writer/director Hyung-rae Shim didn’t realize he could edit something out of the film if it wasn’t necessary … which is made even more ridiculous because everything is done on computer now so all it takes is a few clicks; no more messing splicing of real film.

And that’s especially true in a film so dominated by computer generated effects and backgrounds. It was as if they didn’t know how to make a video game so the filmmakers decided to make a movie.

The best part is that if you put together some of the equipment costs and the effects costs, this film cost $75 million dollars to make – that’s in U.S. dollars! Perhaps even worse is that this will make its money back thanks not to the good ‘ol US of A, but to the world.

In an age where everyone says we’re the naive country, at least “Dragon Wars” only made a shade under $6 million on its US domestic opening weekend. It has grossed over $55 million dollars in the foreign market as I write this review! This means that once the DVD revenue comes in, this movie will more than make its money back. Why?!? I mean, Great Googly Imoogi!

Now I suppose I should touch upon some more elements of the film – not so much because it deserves a more in-depth review but because it may help the pressure inside my brain from bursting a blood vessel.

The acting is about what you’d expect from a glorified cable TV Tuesday night movie. They all play the parts with a straight face but there’s just no way to make the audience go along for the ride … we are only there to laugh and be astounded at the level of tremendabadiosity that this movie delivers.

Not since Ultraviolet have I (or Audrey) seen a movie this amazingly terrible and yet wildly amusing. This may not even be something you make a drinking game for (like in my Rules for Fools section) … No, you should probably be very drunk before the film gets going.

My head is still reeling from what I just witnessed but I’ve got just enough of my faculties in check to deliver a 1 out of 5 to “Dragon Wars”. Audrey wanted me to invent a negative 1 rating because this really is beyond bad (and yet so good) … but I’m too lazy to reinvent the wheel here so it’s escaping the bag of hammers 0 out of 5 rating thanks to its ability to be so bad that we were laughing and doing our own commentary throughout the film.

If you ever take anything I say to heart, it should be this: Do NOT pay for this film. Make someone lose a bet, start working at a movie theater or wait for the cable TV release. While fans of utterly terribly film will find lots to like here, everyone else should just take that $10 and burn it as an offering to the movie Gods – praying that no one else takes $75 million dollars and uses it for something like “Dragon Wars”.