From Arelor@VERT/PALANT to All on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 15:05:14
Hello once again! I am here to bring you yet another movie review!
Today's film is P-51 Dragon Fighters. It's premise is simple: WWII rages in North Africa, and the Nazies are about to unlesh their most powerful weapon: a sect of witches who use their thelepatic and mind-controlling powers to bend the will of dragons to their own ends. With them, the Nazies intend to release an army of dragons to take over Africa, and then, the world. Humanity's last hope is an airforce brigade assembled in order to terminate the threat before it is too late.
The movie is about living, flying, firebreathing dragons with swastikas painted on them, fighting an elite team of Good Guys on planes for the control of the skies. What could go wrong?
Let's face it: this belongs to the same category of movies Two-Headed Shark Attack, Pirahnaconda or Megashark vs Giant Octopus do. They don't aim at being so good that your son wants you to take him to the cinema to watch them. Their marketing strategy is being so ridiculous that you have to watch them
because you want to see how bad they are, or because you want to reward the courage of any fool who thought making such films was a good idea. As such, they don't even try to be good.
So let's get started about why this film is not worth the gasoline necessary to make it burn in Hell.
First of all, action intensive movies depend on the action being good. This means the action has to flow, it has to be exciting, and you care about what happens next. The movie certainly sells you the idea that you are watching it because you want to see some dogfighting between dragons and elite pilots. However, it does not deliver. Special effects are sub-par. Actually, they are Assylum level. If you are familiar with Assylum as a film company, you know this is the greatest of insults. The edition is cheap, and a lot of the shooting scenes involve the pilots making aggressive faces while they press the trigger and unleash many more bullets than a plane can carry.
Acting and characters suck for the most part. They certainly try to go for quantity over quality. Something they teach in writing workshops is that you should try to have as many characters as you can feasibly include in a story, because that way you maximize your chances of having at least one or two the readers will like. I think that is what they tried here. They give you a heck of a lot of pilots and they give you their names. THey also try to give you enough of their personalities for you to care. The problem is there are so many of them that none of them can be properly developped, so in the end you just give a damn if they live or die. The only exception is the squadron leader, who likes to get himself in a sport for real men, which consists in facing a big guy, drinking a shot of whiskey and hitting him in the face... then the other guy does the same to you... and the last one standing is the winner.
Yes, you got it right. The character development for the main character is that he likes punching and getting punched. There is also a lot of cheesy tearjerking about bombing a position full of civilians in the past and being haunted by it, but it comes so late in the film that nobody cares by that point.
I found the Nazies more likeable. Rommel set character as a no-bullshit general in les than 30 seconds, for example. Not that he is a good character, far from it, but at least there was a tiiiiny little buit of substance. Also, the witches, who seem ripped straight out of some Gothic Metal band, were hot enough to worth mentioning. By the first 15 minutes, my father, who was watching the film with me, told me stright: "I want the Nazies to win".
The prize to Worst Character Ever, however, goes to the main character's love interest, whose only role in the movie consists in being hot so the hero has
a nurse to flirt with. She does nothing in the movie but existing.
And the plot, oh, the plot! To say it has the consistency of the discourse of a politician who is campaigning would be giving it too much credit. I'd say it has the consistency of a politician's discourse after it has broken down to pieces and reassembled with duct tape, by somebody who does not know how the fixed end result was supposed to look like.
Some things this movie taught me:
1 - When you want to recover something that has fallen in the middle of the desert, you don't send troopers or vehicles or anything. You give your best pilots a gun each and tell them to walk to the place where the object was last seen.
2 - When your base is attacked by an horde of flying dragons, you send your best pilots up to fight them, and when they are engaged, you unleash all the power of your ground-to-air cannons so you can comfortabily destroy your own elite pilots with friendly fire.
3 - People will betray their friends, comrades and country with no reason given.
4 - A witch's mystical chant is so powerful it rips the flow of space time. The rip manifest itself as broken sync betwene the witch's lips and her voice.
5 - There are weapons too powerful to unleash against your enemies. For example, I am sure the CIA considered forcing prisoners to watch this film as torture, but decided such thing was inhuman and decided that waterboarding and hot irons were more merciful.
Also, this film suffers a bad case of Conservation of Ninjutsu. For those who don't know, Conservation of Ninjutsu is a trope according to which a threat is more powerful when it comes alone and shows up for the first time, but it is less powerful if it comes in numbers. For example, a single dragon is dangerous as an army, but twenty dragons are cannon fodder.
Needless to say, if somebody offers you a choice between watching this film or having your arms and legs cut off, chose mutilation every single time.