Home > Movies > D-War: You Didn't Miss Much

D-War: You Didn't Miss Much

If you’re anything like me, you like to spend time on the internet looking at movie trailers. These trailers are usually better than the movies they advertise. For instance, the Watchmen trailer made Watchmen look like a movie where stuff happens, and the Crash trailer made Crash look like a movie that contained acting.

One trailer that may have jumped out at you while you were trying to tune out your ex-girlfriend yelling at you was the trailer for D-War (short for Dragon War), a Korean-backed American Daikaiju movie where dead Korean ninjas reincarnate as the cast of Friends and have to help the army battle a giant snake. If you’re like me, you probably thought it looked totally sweet, and years later, after the movie was released, you bought it rented it checked it out from the library had your fiancé check it out from the library.

First the good: there are fifteen solid minutes of totally sweet actual dragon war in this film. They are right in the middle. Highlights include a bunch of knights on velociraptors attacking the police and the pilot of an Apache shooting out the window at dragons with a Detective Special. Stuff explodes in a mighty, yet thoroughly PG-13 spectacle of violence and awesomeness.

Now the bad: the other 70 minutes or so consist of a bunch of nobody yuppie actors blanding their way through the same 5 scenes over and over. Magic reincarnated ninja guy saves girl from giant snake, takes her to see disposable cast member, hugs her platonically, giant snake shows up and wrecks stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat. When the good giant snake shows up (there’s a good one, I guess) things become even messier because the giant snakes both basically look alike and you don’t know who to root for.

What’s ironic here is that the creators of this film felt the need to come to America to make a really, really Asian film. Giant monster cinema is bigger there than it is here, and the Power-Rangers bad guy villains fighting the army would have fit right into a Toho film. Even the cinematography feels more like Asian than American cinema. But the Americanization of the film, complete with a Western cast, makes this movie feel not like the Daikaiju epic it was meant to be, but like an American knockoff. It’s an old tradition that Hollywood doesn’t trust viewers to follow a movie with foreign heroes (see U-571) but it’s sad to see foreign filmmakers come to America and make the same mistake. Combine vague Hollywood ethnocentrism with a mostly dull movie, and you’ll realize it’s no surprise you missed D-War actually coming out.

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