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Film / D-War

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"Like King Kong, but with missiles!"
New York Times review

D-War, also called Dragon Wars, is a 2007 South Korean monster movie. Although technically a South Korean movie, it casts primarily American actors.

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.


D-War provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Buraki's lieutenant, General Atrox getting hit by a car, twice.
  • Alternate DVD Commentary: Compliments of RiffTrax.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The hero and heroine do not learn anything from the failure of their predecessors.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Buraki has our two leads cornered at the footsteps to his fortress. Cue the unexpected good imoogi rushing into the rescue.
  • Behemoth Battle: The final battle is Buraki vs the Good Imoogi. Buraki wins round one, though takes a beating in the process, but then Sarah gives the Good Imoogi the Yuh Yi Joo, allowing him to evolve into a Celestial Dragon and defeat Buraki.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Not only does the 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?
  • Advertisement:
  • B-Movie: Albeit one with decent CG.
  • The Chosen One: Sarah, the Yuh Yi Joo.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Modern US military versus fantasy demon soldiers riding dinosaurs.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Once the Good Imoogi becomes a Celestia Dragon, Buraki doesn't stand a chance.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Way too many of the defenders.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Buraki decides to continue attacking the Good Imoogi after it becomes a Celestial Dragon. This doesn't go well for him.
  • Downer Ending: For Ethan who 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. The last shot is Ethan walking away into the desert.
  • The Dragon: Buraki has other literal dragons (albeit smaller, weaker, slower than he is) at his command.
  • Dull Surprise: Sarah gets through the movie without acting once.
  • Dynamic Entry: The Good Imoogi enters the final battle by tackling Buraki, biting his neck, and throwing him overhead.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Buraki's evil army rides some very dinosaur-like creatures, some of which have rocket launchers on their backs. Which brings us to another trope...
  • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The Good Imoogi, now a Celestial Dragon, kills Buraki by breathing fire down his throat, painfully burning him to ash from the inside out as he roars in agony. Not to say Buraki didn't deserve it.
  • 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.
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals: The two imoogi in the film. The evil Buraki resembles a dark cobra, and the unnamed heroic serpent looks more like a python.
  • Idiot Ball: Ethan
  • Made of Explodium: There are lots and lots of explosions in this film.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Ethan gets shot in the shoulder and then gets up a few seconds later showing no signs of pain or injury. His gunshot wound is never brought up again for the rest of the movie.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Atrox Army.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Zigzagged. The summed up forces of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, Los Angeles police and SWAT teams get literally bulldozed and overrun by Buraki's army being outnumbered, outpaced and their biology and technology are too slow and weak to pit against the Dawdler cannons and Bulcos' fireballs. Though in the sense they did succeed in keeping Buraki and his army away from Ethan and Sarah, and so bought Ethan enough time for his medallion to activate and for the Good Dragon to come in and smite Buraki.
  • 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-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Once the Good Imoogi becomes a Celestial Dragon, it proceeds to beat the crap out of Buraki like a ragdoll before incinerating him.
  • 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, serpent like dragons with no limbs. Buraki looks like a cobra snake with crocodile-like scutes. The good imoogi is similar, but looks more like a python.
    • 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.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted in one scene where they save Ethan and Sarah from Buraki by diverting its attention (even if their guns couldn't kill Buraki) but then played out straight when war breaks out in Los Angeles.
  • Product Placement: An LAPD officer and a Chaccone battle in front of a Burger King that has windows promoting their famous crispy Chicken Fries.
  • 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.
  • Social Darwinist: Agent Pinsky, who chooses to simply kill off Sarah so that the dragons go away until 2507 instead of ending the dragon apocalypse here and now.
  • Starcrossed Lovers
  • Stock Scream: Not one but TWO Wilhelm Screams.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: Sarah tries this on Buraki on the skyscraper.
  • 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.


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