Dragon Wars: D-War (2007)

d-warShim Hyung-rae’s action film is a great concept with many possibilities that is never realized in to a watchable movie. While it’s not the worst movie of 2007, it’s an ill conceived film better suited for more forgiving Kaiju buffs. Shim Hyung-rae’s “D-War” is a confusing, poorly written, convoluted mess that only exists to host average CGI monsters, all of which are the actual stars here. Shim Hyung-rae’s film seems much better suited for cable, as its jumbled storyline tends to snuff out any momentum of action or suspense; it does sport one of the most droning prologues in cinema history, after all. “D-War” tends to fall in to repetition as a sloppy bit of fantasy filmmaking that it can never really decide what story it wants to tell. This meandering narrative does nothing but foreshadow future events, and the almost endless flashbacks hoping to bind the story into coherence fail and collapse in on themselves.

Reporter Ethan Hendrick has stumbled onto a scientific finding somewhere near L.A., and recognizes what may be an omen for the coming of an evil serpent named Buraki. We’re warped into his childhood where we’re retold the story of this evil serpent wreaking havoc with his vicious army, and the purpose of the two human prophets who must unite with the serpent to turn him into a dragon. We’re then a witness to one of the first Yuh Yi Joh’s who is forced to sacrifice herself and unite with the Imoogi and help it ascend into heaven and destroy its army. Ethan is the re-incarnation of the Korean Yuh Yi Joh and must find the reincarnation of Narin, the female prophet to help battle the Imoogi. Are you still with me?

The effects are never implemented to their full potential often resembling cut scenes from a video game, while everything in-between the massive monsters and battles is quickly escapes the memory. Only after the serpent appears do things finally pick up, but by that time audiences will really just be waiting for the credits to roll. The “war” in L.A. is but a footnote to the actual climax in which our heroes face down the army and serpents in another ancient land. The inevitable battle ensues to tie up all the loose ends in basically a half hour, leaving everything to feel incomplete and scattered. “D-War” is a broadly written fantasy capable of appealing to more international audiences, but for audiences with higher standards, it’s suitable for background noise on a busy afternoon, and nothing more.