Monday, August 11, 2014

Cheonsamong/Dream of a Warrior (2001)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

WARNING:  I'm going to give away major details, including the ending.  If you don't like spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading.

There are some movies that are so bad that they’re worth watching as an example to others.  There are other movies that are so bad that their very existence is inexcusable.  Dream of a Warrior is an example of a movie that defies explanation.

The movie starts off with a woman running from the authorities.  She has a distinctive mark on her forehead.  We don’t yet know who she is or why she’s running, but she’s good.  She even manages to produce a rocket launcher and take out a helicopter.  Ultimately, she meets her demise and we move on to the next scene.

The police chief is watching a news report of a cult that tried to take out some scientist.  The cult members believed that they received a special message from their cult leader, who had died two years earlier while destroying the work of the same scientist.  The scientist’s daughter was apparently lost in the experiment that said scientist was conducting.  (In the aforementioned news report, he’s shown talking about past and future lives and how we can now visit them using his machine.)

One police officer, named Dean, is selected by the scientist to go in to his daughter’s past life/spatial anomaly/pocket universe to retrieve her.  She’s still alive, but the destruction of the original machine left her trapped.  The scientist looked through every law-enforcement and military officer throughout the country and only Dean has the right brainwave frequency to go in and save her.

We are now in some sort of village named DilMoon. A princess is to be married off to a warrior.  There’s another guy that’s interested in her, but is too lowly to be allowed to have anything to do with her.  It’s actually the guy sent back to save the daughter and it looks like the daughter is actually the princess.  Funny thing is that neither of them seems to behave as if it’s the past or some sort of altered reality.  They just play along as if this is normal.

Well, a group of senators want to invade a neighboring village as a preemptive strike.  There’s also a push to move up the wedding date of the princess, although it’s never really explained why.  (Someone mentions the impending threat of invasion as a reason, but I don’t see what that had to do with anything.)  Dean is going off to war with the Grand General.  The movie goes back and forth between showing us how great a warrior Dean is and how much people think that the princess is way out of his league.

Well, lots of people die, no one really makes any plans to move the wedding forward despite people constantly mentioning it and Dean manages to save the princess, although he dies.  When the princess realizes that she can never be with her true love, she commits suicide with a piece of glass, leaving the bad guy to scream.  Dean ends up back in the present/main reality, where the scientist tells Dean that he only has six hours to save his daughter.  Otherwise…

So, he goes back and finds the daughter in suspended animation behind a force field.  Dean distracts the bad guy long enough to cut through the force field, deactivate the stasis unit and take the daughter back to reality.  This is all in the span of maybe five or ten minutes.  I don’t know how six hours became five minutes.  (Then again, this is an altered reality/time warp we’re talking about.)

I can’t even begin to explain the level of WTF this movie deserves.  It’s one of those movies that would cause your head to explode if you tried to wrap your head around.  I can understand the bad subtitles.  (One character says something like, “They will revenge to me.”  There are also cases of the subtitles going too quickly or appearing when no one is talking.)  Maybe they couldn’t afford someone who spoke English.  This did appear to be a low-budget movie.

What got me was that the movie made absolutely no sense.  It actually looks like it started out as two or three different projects that were merged in an attempt to make a whole story.  Well, you can’t just put 83 minutes of crap together and call it a movie.

Was it a time warp she was in?  It was never stated that this was the actual, literal past.  If it was, why did everyone look the same?  We even have the woman from the opening chase scene show up.  She gets some major screen time.  How did that happen?  There are a lot of things that just happen and are never explained.

I also hate it when only one person is suitable for the mission.  It’s not like there were a few people that could have done it and this was the best candidate.  I could understand if there were still possibilities that they hadn’t looked at, but time was an issue.  Dean was the only one with the right brain pattern to go in.  And it just so happens that he’s been having dreams of the woman that he’s supposed to save.  What are the odds of that happening?

I can’t even begin to describe how crappy this movie is.  I don’t know if the people involved were doing copious amounts of drugs or if they were simply inept.  I’m leaning towards drugs mostly because some studio exec should have known to pull the plug after seeing this.  What I want to know is how this piece of crap ever made it to DVD.  I think that with some major rewriting, the movie could have had potential.  This is one case where a remake would be suitable, as there is a great deal of work that could be done on it.

IMDb page

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