Thursday, 3 March 2016

Dragon Warriors (2015)

This is another film that I backed on kickstarter, pretty much on the back of a referral from the Mythica guys and the line in the pitch that said "we combined what we love about classic fantasy films of the 80's with the amazing CGI elements of the epic films of today".

I should have taken the time to watch the pitch video, which does a much more thorough job of explaining the kind of movie they wanted to make.

A "funny" one.

Look, I get that movies like Hawk the Slayer and Krull and The Beastmaster and Conan the Destroyer were often packed with cheesiness and goofiness, but they were not generally intentionally funny ... and when they were, the humour was not at the expense of their own central premise.  You never had characters mocking each other for their goofy fantasy outfits, for instance (and if ever there was a movie that merited mocking for its outfits, it was The Beastmaster).  Nor did their scripts lampshade the goofiness of their characters and situations, or throw in gratuitous pop culture references ("Ha ha! Look how we just riffed on Titanic!  And on Star Wars, over and over and over again!").

As you've probably guessed, Dragon Warriors does all these things, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it almost never succeeds in actually being funny, and continually succeeds in undermining any emotional or dramatic weight to the plot.  I mean, there's a scene near the end of the film where one of the main characters finds his brother has been killed, mourns over him, then remembers that he has a magical ring of healing ... and we get the "hilarity" of a scene where he struggles to find a finger small enough to fit it on (and yes, he tries all of them before "try the little finger" occurs to him).  Ha?

This film is also known under the title Dudes and Dragons, which I think gives a much more accurate sense of the kind of movie it is.  Ugh.

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