, also called Dragon Wars
, is a 2007 South Korean monster movie. Unlike some Asian monster movies
, such as the Godzilla
uses abundant high-quality CGI and the effects have been compared to the 2007 Transformers
and the 2005 King Kong
. The story, however, has been compared to extremely bad high school writing, only worse.
The Imoogi (or Imugi) are a race of magical giant serpents in Korean mythology. Once every 500 years, one virtuous Imugi is rewarded by the gods for its good deeds and given the chance to become a celestial dragon.
Circa the year 1500, Buraki, an evil Imugi, plans to steal this reward and transform himself into an immortal dragon so he can destroy the world. To do this, Buraki must capture the Yuh Yi Joo, a special
young woman. But Buraki is thwarted thanks to the Heroic Sacrifice
of the Yuh Yi Joo and her faithful warrior companion.
Circa the year 2000, the Yuh Yi Joo and her companion are reborn, and Buraki sees another chance to capture her and gain her power. Buraki summons his evil army of dark armored warriors riding dinosaurs and flying dragon-things, which proceed to duke it out with an army of modern soldiers, tanks and helicopters. A dramatic chase ensues, full of monsters and explosions.
Contrast The Host
, which is a genuinely good South Korean monster movie made the year before.
This movie provides examples of:
- Actually Pretty Funny: Buraki's lieutenant, General Atrox getting hit by a car, twice.
- Alternate DVD Commentary: Complements of RiffTrax
- Because Destiny Says So: The hero and heroine do not learn anything from the failure of their predecessors.
- Bittersweet Ending: So not only does our hero lose the girl to destiny but he's left stranded in a desolate landscape in the middle of nowhere alone with nary an evidence of provisions or a way back home, but hey the evil forces are vanquished, right?
- Black Best Friend : Which Ethan thoughtfully left unconscious on the road after rescuing him from a giant freaking serpent. Apparently he has a very bad memory as he rescues him again later.
- B-Movie: Albeit one with decent CG.
- The Chosen One: Sarah, the Yuh Yi Joo.
- Doing It for the Art: The movie was apparently Hyung-Rae Shim's dream project, and he was in tears in the DVD extras. He also wrote the script and closely supervised the special effects production.
- The score was made by Steve Jablonsky, famous for the Transformers films, who apparently scored the film at a cost far below his normal salary because he liked the idea.
- Do Not Run with a Gun: Way too many of the defenders.
- Downer Ending: The hero, a modern day reporter, is left in the scarred wastelands of a forgotten realm, completely alone, and with no obvious way of getting back to present day Los Angeles.
- Dull Surprise
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Buraki's evil army rides some very dinosaur-like creatures, some of which have rocket launchers on their backs.
- Every Car Is a Pinto: Cars and Apaches.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Buraki's right hand man, General Atrox. Particularly ridiculous because he tries to pass as a normal human and no one notices his ridiculously deep voice.
- The Gods Must Be Lazy: Buraki has a massive army that can kick even the modern American Army's ass. What does Heaven send to stop them? Two guys.
- Idiot Ball: Ethan
- Made of Explodium: There are lots and lots of explosions in this film.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The Atrox Army.
- Mook Lieutenant: General Atrox.
- Mordor: Buraki's evil temple at the end. It even looks like the Tower of Barad-dûr!
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Especially when you unload a full magazine into the Evil Army's thick shields instead of aiming for the unprotected limbs after the first few rounds bounced off.
- No Indoor Voice: General Atrox, while not in human form. The chanting to "summon" Buraki is especially hilarious.
- Our Dragons Are Different. Five kinds:
Imoogi: Giant, cobra like dragons with no limbs.
Celestial Dragon: Typical Eastern dragon in appearance, and what an Imoogi becomes in possession of the Yooh Yi Joo.
Chaccone: Miniature Allosaurus with horns, mounts of the evil army.
Bulcos: Basically a Jurassic Park-styled velociraptor, but with wings.
Dawdler: A large, legless stegosaur-like creature with back cannons.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The stegosaurs-like Dawdlers that have rocket launchers on their back.
- Raptor Attack: The Bulcos are basically flying velociraptors.
- In one scene, when a Bulcos lands if front of the camera, a sickle-shaped, raptor-like claw is visible on each foot.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Buraki has evil red eyes with slitted pupils, in contrast to the Good Imoogi's eyes, which are blue and Siberian husky-like.
- Redshirt Army: Civilian or military, everyone that fights back is killed without a second thought.
- Rule of Cool: Drives pretty much the entire movie.
- Rule of Perception: For some reason bystanders never notice the 100-meter long giant snake until it is breathing down their necks...
- Screw Destiny: Ethan's (past and present versions) rationale for eloping with their beloved, doesn't seem to grasp why this is futile.
- Snipe Hunt: The old master guy fakes a heart attack so that he can tell Ethan the old Korean legend.
- Starcrossed Lovers
- Stock Scream: Not one but TWO Wilhelm Screams.
- Transformation Sequence: The Good Imoogi as he becomes a Celestial Dragon. His skin peels off, his molted hide rains like snow, then legs and horns burst out of his body and head as he triumphantly roars. Too bad it's kind of dark to see it.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Both Jack and General Atrox are capable of this.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Bruce was last seen inside a crashed vehicle telling Ethan and Sarah that he'll be fine and to run away. They never showed whether or not Buraki killed him or if he got away.