Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Dragon Wasps (2012)

I have started noticing lately that there are a few golden rules to adhere to if you ever find yourself in a potential b-movie situation and want to avoid trouble. Dragon Wasps illustrates a few of them, which I will mark and then expand upon in footnotes.

An entomologist* named Gina (played by Dominika Juillet) is a young woman working in an area of rain forests*. She is, however, just there to find her father* as opposed to the real reason that she gave. When her friend, Rhonda (played by Nikolette Noel), finds out about this she has a bit of a moan and a sigh but then agrees to help find the missing man. It's not long until the two women find themselves in military territory but, thankfully, they manage to persuade a team* led by John Hammond (Corin Nemec) to help them on their quest. There are some local baddies in the area not afraid to shoot at the military but dodging bullets becomes a secondary concern when the sky suddenly fills up with . . . . . . . . . dragon wasps.*

It's hard to imagine how much further these movies can go. I'm still afraid of wasps (I'm a wuss in real life, I admit it) but the brains behind movies such as this one obviously don't think normal wasps are scary enough. So they make them big. And THEN they also make them able to shoot flames. I'm wondering just how long it is until we see the movie Gorgon Bees appearing on the Syfy Channel.

The strangest thing about Dragon Wasps, however, is that it's not actually that bad. Oh, it's bad. I've not lost my mind after watching too many of these creature features. The acting from Nikolette Noel is pretty godawful and I can't really find anything too complimentary to say about Dominika Juillet or Corin Nemec either. In fact, the supporting cast members did a better job. Benjamin Easterday was fine, Cosondra Sjostrom was the prettiest soldier I have seen in some time (it's a shame that she didn't get more to do) and Gildon Roland was an intimidating villain.

Direction from Joe Knee was fine, I suppose, and the script by Mark Atkins and Rafael Jordan was mildly amusing in places. The pacing may not have been perfect but the special effects a) weren't as eye-searingly bad as is often the way of these films and b) weren't overused. Those big, bad dragon wasps get enough screentime but the movie isn't full of cutaway shots to them and a lot of the plot deals with the soldiers having to deal with the local guerrillas.

There are also some fun moments to do with the effects of cocaine, some fun incubation/hatching scenes and a nice line in over the top bravado from Nemec's lead character. The movie is bad but it has the good sense to be bad with some fun in the mix.



*Entomologist - choose your career carefully. Never become an entomologist. Try becoming an etymologist instead. Nobody ever got themselves murder death killed by a mutated strain of words (well, if you don't think too much about Pontypool)

*Rain forests - there are some places on our planet that are safe and secure and rarely see problems caused my crazy local wildlife. Rain forests are NOT those places.

*Lost family member - give it up. They're either gone or in a very bad way or helped to cause the damn problem in the first place. Drop them like a hot potato and adopt other people who can fill that role. Preferably choose someone not working in the field of genetics.

*Enlisting army help - if you're doing something that you can ask the military to help you with then maybe you shouldn't be doing it.

*Last but not least - if you spot any bad CGI then run in the opposite direction. Those computer effects are probably out to kill you.


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