The Tagline: “On September 14, something extraordinary will turn our world into a battlefield.”
The Translation: All expense has been spared to bring you this sci-fi/action hybrid.
The Verdict: You know when you’re at the grocery store, and you’re about to buy some salsa, and your eye wanders from the big names of Pace or Paul Newman’s to the dusty store-brand salsa that costs $1.79 a jar? Well, Dragon Wars looks to be the action-movie equivalent of Safeway Salsa. This Korean import, about mythological dragons on the loose in contemporary L.A., shows in its trailer that it offers everything you might find in, say, a Michael Bay movie, except cheaper.
Where Bay would cast Shia LaBeouf and Anthony Anderson as the hero and his wisecracking black buddy, D-War (as it’s called) stars Roswell’s Jason Behr and The Office’s Craig Robinson. Where Bay would spend $100 million on impeccable special effects, D-War seems to have created its dragons and explosions on the director’s kid brother’s laptop. And where Bay would have hired a half-dozen writers to hammer out a laughable, superfluous screenplay, D-War’s director Hyung-rae Shim does it himself. In a way, D-War is honorable in its total chintziness, but — as with store-brand salsa — we’d be awfully nervous about dipping in.