D-War (디워)

Official Movie Site: www.d-war.com
Korean Opening: August 1, 2007
US release: September 2007 (subject to change).. hopefully never.
Watchable Time: 10 minutes
Actual Movie Length: 10 minutes–the rest shouldn’t be called a movie. 



(which is isn’t that bad….too bad its 100x better than the actual movie).

REVIEW (from a Korean in Korea who saw it):
I’m Korean and in Korea. I saw this last night… and it was HORRIBLE. bad acting, insultingly bad dialogue, no character development, mistakes/holes in plot and edit and flow everywhere. Bad in the bad way..NOT the bad in the b-movie good way. So many problems its too long to list… far easier to say what was GOOD:

  • CGI was sufficient, if not necessarily groundbreaking.
  • The FINAL dragon looks cool.
  • Snake-dragon on the skyscraper looks cool.
  • Old lady walking into wall was funny
  • It’d make a cool video game.

Otherwise…the best I could say for this movie is it was like REALLY REALLY good Power Rangers movie.

BUT PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT ASSOCIATE THIS WITH KOREAN MOVIES and please do NOT think all koreans are blinded by nationalism to suppor this movie. Only the my fellow korean morons are outspoken about saying this movie is anything but amatuer night it is. At best, I can say it was a like a really good Power Rangers episode–in which case…GREAT JOB!! rofl. It is a Blockbuster for sure.. BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO RENTAL, that is.

Go see Oldboy, the Host, or Shilmido for decent Korean movie representations or some good examples of campy Korean goofy b-movie fun are My Wife Was A Gangster or Volcano High.

OVERALL:  Movie Hata says — I’d listen to his advice.  Just watch the last dragon and city battle highlights once someone inevitably posts it on youtube or somewhere or as commented:

“10 minutes ok/good Dragon CGI vs 100 minutes of please-stab-me-in-the-face-movie-torture… YOU DECIDE!!!”

ROLF.  that about sums it up.


21 Responses to “D-War (디워)”

  1. 1 grendelkhan August 6, 2007 at 10:38 am

    here here!

    I am Korean. I saw it…and I did my part by supporting the movie by going to it. So with that..FOOK OFF you Shim fanboys. Now I’m doing my part for supporting the Korean film industry image by NOT blindly promoting this GODAWFUL BAD BAD movie and pushing the GOOD one’s (like OLDBOY, SHILMIDO, THE HOST, etc). This movie was EMBARRASINGLY BAD.

    Read any of the English reviews ALREADY OUT. They all agree with me. This is garbage on a stick. Its embarrasing that Koreans’ are posting every making us look stupider with “Great movie!” and blind nationistic support for it. Anyone with half a brain and over the age of 12 knows this was a bad movie, just with some good CGI here and there.

    I bet anyone 100 billion won (100 million USD) it will flop in the US…big time. this movie was awful. I’ll let you know where to send the check after it opens. lol hell make it 100 bucks if you don’t have the balls.

    Here is the best YET REASONALBE review of it… and he gave it a 2 outta 10 (again, by a Korean without his head and Korean waving flag up Director Shim ass).

    D-War… Does Not D-Liver [ Korean FIlm ]

    MOOD: Angry
    2/10 Movie: D-War (2007)

    D-War is the latest CGI movie to come from former Korean gag-man turned director, Hyung-rae Shim. It’s basically a classic monster movie with a little more legend and fantasy added. The movie has the distinction of being a Korean movie filmed mostly in English with American actors. It was released in South Korea on August 1st and is already breaking box office records. The Host, the Korean monster movie released last year currently holds the honor of highest grossing Korean film in Korea.

    I came into the movie expecting to find some of the humor and quirkiness that made The Host and other Korean films unique. Instead the movie would have been beton HBO on a Saturday afternoon in the 1980s.

    First off, there are some good parts. The scenes in Choson dynasty Korea are mesmerizing and colorful. It gives Korea a portrayal usually reserved for fantasy films based in China and Japan. The Imoogi legend, where a serpent is granted the privilege to be a celestial dragon once every 500 years, gave the film some scope and depth. The battle scenes in Los Angeles were exciting, with flying fire breathing lizards fighting helicopters and lumbering beasts with rocket launchers marching through the streets with their Lord of the Rings armor-clad knights. Unlike films like Transformers, the camera doesn’t cut so much that it disorients the audience during the battle scenes. They’re easy to follow. And finally, the Korean dragon at the end looked great. I can’t think of any other movie that tries to realistically portray an Asian style dragon, other than maybe a glimpse in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. If the movie had more of that dragon, it would have saved a good bit of it.

    The rest of D-War was disappointing and confusing. It missed a lot of opportunities for humor, character development, and bringing sweep and meaning to the story. The plot and dialogue themselves seemed to be ordered piece by piece from G-Market. Every person and scene and plot twist has been seen so many times before–only this time with dragons. Even suspending all disbelief so far that it can only be viewed through the Hubble telescope with an attitude to have mindless fun will not make the movie any more enjoyable. I actually started falling asleep and studying my fingernails during parts. The bad acting was forgivable, from the Keaunu-clone main character to the villain, who looked like he worked as a box salesman when not dressed in Darth Sauron armor. They did the best they could with the clunky lines they had to work with. The casting and character archetypes were drawn from Korean stereotypes of Westerners that are regularly portrayed on TV. The FBI guy has to look and talk like Robert Stack. The token black character is there for mild humor because he talks funny. And I could have sworn that I have seen the exact same actors who played the American soldiers play American soldiers in every Korean movie that has American soldiers.

    The plot itself is a little hard to follow. On the surface, it’s simple. There’s a woman born every 500 years who can turn a giant serpent, good or evil, into a celestial dragon on her twentieth birthday. There’s an ancient Korean wizard and a young man he trained there to protect her. There is a great seige against a Korean walled town that looks so ripped off of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, that I expected Jar Jar Binks to run onto the battlefield, clumsily knocking over droids. In the legend, the young man and the chosen woman fall in love and dive to their deaths over a cliff to avoid the “bad” serpent from catching her.

    Five hundred years later, the couple are reborn as Americans in Los Angeles. They don’t know each other. Yet the girl, Sarah (Amanda Brooks), has a birthmark on her shoulder in the shape of a dragon, just as she had in her previous life. Ethan (Jason Behr), the reincarnation of her protector, discovers a magic box in an antique shop. The proprietor, Jack (Robert Forster), who was really the wizard from Korea, tells him he has been waiting for him for five hundred years.

    And that’s really it. He doesn’t train him to protect the girl, like he did in the previous life. They just meet each other. Jack gives Ethan some amulet to wear around his neck, and they part ways. When Ethan, grown up as a famous news reporter for a CNN type of news network (copied all the way down to the style of the logo) he comes across a police crime investigation over a crater with a dragon scale in it. The scale reminds him of his meeting with Jack as a kid (don’t know why), and we are launched into maybe thirty minutes of long-winded exposition from Jack–who isn’t that good of a storyteller.

    Suddenly Jack and his cameraman Bruce (Craig Robinson, who gives the best performance in the movie) search through databases to find a nineteen-year-old girl named Sarah who has a dragon tattoo on her left shoulder. Bruce gave the “Are you out of your mind” comment that the audience was feeling. I don’t remember how Jack knew the girl’s name was Sarah. It’s one of those many details that was either glossed over or completely ignored.

    This evil elephant-eating (the biggest attempt at flat humor in the movie) ancient serpent somehow is combing Los Angeles, undetected, looking for Sarah. Sarah’s best friend, Brandy (Aimee Garcia), plays the role of disposable best friend, who dies from mistaken identity faster than Sarah Connor’s roommate in the first Terminator.

    Sarah’s in the hospital because she felt some freaky thing in her heart. For some reason, they lock her in her hospital room and say that she’s quarantined, as if she has a deadly virus. This is an obvious cover up. Nonetheless, when the news reporter Ethan shows up, the doctor says, “I like your work,” and lets him in.


    Sarah and Ethan escape together, and the chase starts. The evil giant serpent finds them wherever they go, smashing its head into buildings. Whenever it gets close enough to bite them, it just stands there and screams, giving them time to find an escape. Eventually the military shows up (in unmarked yellow tanks), and the battle begins.

    In the meantime, this evil dark general (Michael Shamus Wiles) revives the evil serpent’s followers, an army of knights and creatures, that march into downtown Los Angeles. The battle begins. Things happen predictably. The FBI somehow knew all about Sarah and Korean dragon legends through its paranormal unit–a big plot point that is just casually mentioned by the head FBI investigator before his partner formulaically shoots him to protect Sarah.

    That’s one of the most frustrating things about the movie. Everyone suddenly goes from knowing nothing about what’s going on to knowing everything about Korean legends. Ethan, even though he seems to have no connection to Korean culture, is able to spout off Korean proverbs while driving. The movie would have worked a lot better if there was more connection between the present and the Korean legend in the past–like if they had to go to Korea to defeat the serpent or something.

    Instead it just plays like a bad B-movie that could only be made watchable with the MST3K robots making fun of it. Even the humor–coming from a former comedian writer-director–was lame and repeated. The most oft repeated joke was someone being aloof to the fact that a giant serpent was snaking outside their window. Even during the big battle with explosions and the military blocking off the streets there were scenes of people just going about their daily business, looking up, and suddenly noticing that there were flying lizards and a mile-long snake creeping up their office tower. Yet there’s none of that unique Korean humor that peppers classic Korean movies such as Please, Teach Me English, Sassy Girl, and even The Host and Old Boy.

    The disappointment over this movie turns into frustration when the Korean media portrays this as the big blockbuster film that will get the rest of the world to recognize Korean film as on par with American film. It takes itself way too seriously while blatantly ripping off every movie cliche that is out there. Even Michael Bay had the brains to realize Transformers wasn’t Academy material and played with the fact that the premise itself was hokey. D-War does not even have any subtlety or irony on its subject matter. It actually believes it’s a serious film. I’m sure that it will win awards in Korea while wondering why it won’t win any Oscars in America, even though there are barely any Koreans mentioned in the credits on the IMDB. There’s even a scrolling message from Hyung-rae Shim to his Korean audience at the end of the film, talking about the process and love of making D-War, with masturbatory black-and-white photos of himself making the movie and finally standing in front of the Hollywood sign.

    At that point, I was embarrassed and even angry that the film is working to pump up South Koreans’ pride only to have it dashed when this film gets laughed out of the theaters overseas.

  2. 2 grendelkhan August 7, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Best part of that review:

    “At that point, I was embarrassed and even angry that the film is working to pump up South Koreans’ pride only to have it dashed when this film gets laughed out of the theaters overseas”

    dead on. my feelings exactly.

  3. 3 grendelkhan August 7, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    saw this.. .ROFL:

    if you want to watch the SUFFICIENT and ADEQUATE F/X (or really good…for a Power Rangers episode or sci-fi channel show) then cool!! Catch the 10 minute highlights of the last scence (last dragon is admittedly cool) on youtube (which will inevitibaly be uploaded) and save your $10 bucks and time of seeing the rest of the 90 minutes of utter crap.

    10 minutes ok/good Dragon CGI vs 100 minutes of please-stab-me-in-the-face-movie-torture… YOU DECIDE!!!

  4. 5 Tracy August 8, 2007 at 2:05 am

    D-War or Dragon War is an incoherently stagnant, CGI ridden, jumbled mess from start to finish. From the first frame you can feel an amateurs hand at the material. This slop is the latest film from the ex-gag man Hyung-rae Shim and Im praying to God its his last. He is completely out of his element here. How can I say? Take all the worst scenes from Star Wars: Phantom menace, Lord of the Rings, and 300 put it in a blender and you can almost produce this trash.

    The films plot is the first problem. There is some lame intro about a Imoogi ( a Korean Dragon) in Korea and a young woman named Narin in Korea who must sacrifice her life to the dragon so he(Imoogi) can become a Celestial Dragon in the heavens(whatever that means). However there are not one but TWO IMOOGIs!!! Yeah you guessed it, one good and one bad how original eh? So a wise old sage(damn that guy is wise) enlist the help of a young man by the name of Haram to protect her until the time came on her 20th birthday to sacrifice herself the large Dragon¡¦ (And the plot thickens). However ever there is a problem, Haram and Narin have fallen in love(awe how sweet) so instead of letting her die in the mouth of the Dragon they jump off a mountain to their deaths. So the Imoogi, errr.. Dragon,errr whatever it is has to wait another 500 years to become the Celestial Dragon. 500 years damn thats a long time to wait.

    500 years in the present our story starts. Haram is reincarnated as a young reporter by the name of Ethan Kendrick. He is investigating a strange disaster that has taken place in Los Angeles (why does every movie take place in Los Angeles??) Strangely enough the FBI gets involved, not usually the people who come to check out natural disasters, but anyway I suppose its necessary for the ridiculous plot to take place. Meanwhile, Ethan suddenly remembers an old guy when he was young telling him about the Korean legend and puts two and two together and remembers a woman by the name of Sarah, so he uses his two most powerful tools to locate her: A Internet Data Base and a big fat Black guy.

    The black guy is purely there for comic relief, delivering one liners and loud quirky silliness we expect from our stereotype carbon cut out characters. He is also magically always around to get Ethan and his lady friend of out any trouble that may arise, using, purely, his “blackness” of course.

    Secondly Narin has been reincarnated too as the beautiful Sarah Daniels. She helpless woman who is just in the middle of something bigger than her, (what ever that means). Theres also the slimy FBI agent who magically discovers why the Dragon (the evil one) is looking for her and has decided to kill her to stop the violence. Meanwhile, the Dragon goes from door to door like a salesman (magically undetected) looking for her most of the movie. There are even creatures resembling the Dark creatures from the Lord of the Rings in Shiny Armor, who appear and reflect bullets with their shields.( Im assuming follwers of the evil dragon) There are lots of explosions and heroic deaths with no real characters to care about. There isnt a sense of urgency seeing that you dont care what happens to any of those involved. Anyways, Kevin finds Sarah and they spend the rest of the movie running from the dragon until a very unsatisfying climax.

    D-war is a stale, uninspired, tired, regurgitated, borrowed piece of trash. Hyung-rae Shim is under the misconception that bigger and louder is better. As a director he doesnt understand the material itself, and by not realizing what he is working with he has failed to convey any vision that he may or may not have had. Transformers is also very loud and very big, but it is a much better film because Michael Bay understands the material is hokey. He understands the mere concept of Transformers is silly and never tries to make the movie more than that. He has fun with the project and wants the audience to have fun too.

    D-War tries to be too serious. The movie feels clumsy and never really started with a solid foundation; resulting in the crumbling of the film far before the last frame. I feel really sorry too, because the Korean media is pegging this movie as On Par with American films, and will prove Koreas Place in the Worlds Cinema. They couldnt be more wrong. It may win awards in Korea, and break box office records in the tiny Republic nation, but thats as far as it will go. The only thing it has proven is exactly how NOT to make a movie.

    At the end of the feature there is a little Biography about Hyung-rae Shim himself and the struggle it took to make the film (all in text and pictures). This last little bit cries “please watch my film so I can get money..sigh I worked soo hard”, which is a prime example of pure Film-maker Masturbation. For those who dont understand what I mean, “think” about it. For me however, this is the worst movie I have seen in a while. You can feel the contempt in my words. There is nothing more in this world that I hate, than to sit through a piece of trash, especially one of this caliber. Its takes a very special film-maker to make something truly great and the same could be said about the latter.
    D-Wars opens September 14th under LIMITED release in the states. I dont see this fairing very well with American audiences who have seen other quite superior movies this summer. Koreans are thinking Oscars. Im thinking Razzies. —-Dont worry, no CGI Dragons were harmed in the filming of this movie :)… unforunately….

  5. 6 WastedWarrior August 8, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Guy I’m with all of you this movie was horrible. I started a thread on rottentomatoes immediatly after watching that movie in Korea. I hope no one goes to see it in the USA. That is my hope!

  6. 7 grendelkhan August 8, 2007 at 10:16 am

    HELL YA. totally agree. and I saw that thread.. and plastered with replies. lol.

    It wouldn’t be as bad if my fellow korean weren’t trying to make into this all-mighty great “Hollywood killer” movie. Its so freakin embarrassing. I’ve gotten called a “fucking a-hole” and “shitty Korean” and digusting feelings and close to death threats for saying how bad the movie was and PATHETIC I thought that Bio at the end was by Shim.

    Frankly, its hilarious.

    Show KOREAN PRIDE by DIS-associating ourselves from the overblown hype and blind nationalist talk. It was a glorified PowerRangers sci-fi channel episode.

    a few koreans have teh balls to post anything bad… I saved what this korean guy posted then DELETED I suppose outta fear for his life. LOL
    hcseoin @ rottentomatoes before deletion:

    Koreans usually do not allow exceptions. You have to be a majority to survive. It is hard to expect generosity toward minority (such as race, gender and/or disability).

    Right now, you have to praise D-war not to be labeled as a traitor.

    Yes. It’s crasy. But this is exactly what happens in Korea. I am a Korean and I feel shame.

    Similar thing was happened when MBC tackles Dr. Hwang Woo Suk. Apparantly, no one learned lesson from here.

    go hcseoin!!

  7. 8 ffff August 11, 2007 at 11:07 am

    ” It’s crasy. But this is exactly what happens in Korea. I am a Korean and I feel shame.”

    I think you are disgraceful!

    If you feel shamed, just get American citizenship.

    and behave like American~

  8. 9 gk August 11, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    ffff… you are the disgrace. stop embarrassing Koreans with your FOB response and bad taste in shitty movies

    gg pwned

  9. 10 grendelkhan August 11, 2007 at 7:48 pm


    this movie sucked BAD. but in the future, uf you want to comment…do so HERE: http://www.MovieHaters.com

  10. 11 jaystao August 12, 2007 at 7:06 am

    “The casting and character archetypes were drawn from Korean stereotypes of Westerners that are regularly portrayed on TV. The FBI guy has to look and talk like Robert Stack. The token black character is there for mild humor because he talks funny. And I could have sworn that I have seen the exact same actors who played the American soldiers play American soldiers in every Korean movie that has American soldiers.”

    Its great to see that foreigners in any genre of another country are still carrying on the tradition of ‘I don’t understand what I’m doing cause no one cares’ incomprehension. I remember watching Hong Kong films in the 90’s and thinking the same thing about the crew cut wearing US body guards and CIA agents that would crop up from time to time (is there a fan club for these faceless wonders?). Unlike some stereotypes of ethnic cultures, white mask in Asian produced material seem particularly wooden – maybe because English is a great second language to hear and ethnicity carries wonderful characteristics, whereas these guys are often dubbed over anyway with their only real distinction being European – and capitalists are boring and wear to much plad (whereas US ethnics could be terrorists, bandits, druggies and gang members). Still wouldn’t mind seeing the film just to see How Bad is BAD – guess some people just never learn (Hollywood action films aren’t particularly very good these days anyway or even good – I mean look at 500 as an example – liking it or not).

  11. 12 grendelkhan August 13, 2007 at 2:30 am

    seeing the movie just to see how bad it is about the only “good” reason I’ve heard yet to see it.

    that said, I’d wait for the download to become available. seeing in the theater would be a waste of money.

  12. 13 tewkewl September 7, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    grendelkhan …

    no man… you are wrong… there are no good reasons to see this movie period! =)

    this movie is not even “good enough” to see because it’s soo bad… it’s even worse than that level. this movie is worse than robot jox! shim is a dolt. i want to roast him alive on a skewer and sell his cooked pig body to hungry folks in africa….

    and he looks like my dick of a step father. which makes it even worse.

  13. 14 smolts September 15, 2007 at 1:04 am

    you korean

    my son enjoy the movie

    you korean

    do not hate shim hyun rae

    you do not know about movie

    you guys act like you are critical writer

    you korean make your self stupid

  14. 15 choi September 15, 2007 at 5:17 am

    I am Korean. My English is not good. I just wanted to check the review of the D-War. Most of review seems that they don’t like this movie.Probably, their mentioning is right and it is objective enough. But you should think about one man’s effort and his passion for his movie. He failed lots of times before. But he did his best again, again. And finally his movie is presenting in U.S.A. I just wnat to mention this point. It is easy to criticize, but it is not easy to passionate fot his dream.

  15. 16 tom February 10, 2008 at 8:16 am

    OMG get a life you freeks when did this movie actually come out? ive never seen it but i want to danisaurs armys whats not to like.. P.S TRACY YOU LOSER HOW CAN YOU WRITE 8 PARAGRAPHS ON THIS !!!???

  16. 17 awefulshitDWAR July 15, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Wake up. A bad movie is a bad movie. Just because the director tried hard does not mean the movie will be good.

    It’s bad. D-war supporters are pathetic. Doesn’t matter… 5 years from now you will be really embarassed for what you have said now.

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