[Letter to the editor]In defense of a diverting summer flickI saw “D-War” yesterday at a local theater and, yes, it could have had a better story, for one. What happened to the young Ethan’s father when he went to the Oriental medicine store for medicine for the Oriental antiquities dealer? He must have gotten lost because he never returned, which would have lent more depth and a natural transition from one scene to another. However, one of this movie’s pluses is that D-War is a relatively short movie at 90 minutes, which I didn’t mind. I’m tired of the mega-long movies being released today, so D-War’s relative brevity was a relief. Movie seats weren’t designed to accommodate the near trans-Pacific length of today’s movies. And yes, the characters were thinly conceived, but the actors were believable, appealing and fresh.
D-War had its funny moments, too, despite its flaws. When was the last time you can remember a giant serpent going to the zoo for some fresh late-night pachyderm? Never. What about the blond Belushi-like character fidgeting stubbornly, then retracting his strong then changing his mind as the imugi appears outside of the window which the female psychiatrist cannot see? And the capricious female mental health professional who freed him and then further adjudicated his sentence as the zookeeper reacted to the evil serpent’s uncanny appearance outside of his window.
The audience and I laughed at his plight. When was the last time that the star characters jumped into a pizza boy’s car to escape?
The trouble with this movie was not the special effects, nor the characters, but the director’s reliance on too many recycled archetypical movie characters we have seen over the past 20 years from “Lethal Weapon” to “Romeo and Juliet,” “Star Wars” to “Godzilla” to “Lord of the Rings --The Return of the King,” and so on.
But so what?
I liked the special effects and it was different. New York City is usually the target in many movies, and in real-life, but this time it was L.A., which made the movie more interesting ― not less. The rest of the audience liked it, too. In real moviedom, when a director makes a really good-to-great movie, it’s often a tonic for insomnia. That is something D-War will never have to worry about.
The theater I was in was packed with mothers and their children, and it was a good way to beat the heat for 4,000 won. However, I wondered how carefully the theater was checking the age of my fellow moviegoers. D-War is rated 12 but many of the kids in the audience appeared to be just on the southern side of 12.
Besides, many movies being released today are mediocre to average at best, so who really cares if you’re a sci-fi fan? I’m not a movie critic and I never imagined I would be, but I enjoyed this flick. It was short, creative and funny, though thin, and sometimes it was hard to follow the transitions. Who cares? It was fun to watch and it ended in a timely fashion. I guess that we’ll have to wait another 500 years to catch the sequel.
I think D-War is going to endure as a solid video shop star and rake in some serious won in the weeks after its release.
Lawrence Sincebaugh, Gunpo, Gyeonggi
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