What I'm Watching: Dracano
Back for a quick Trisklet before editing Friday's review, and it felt right to finally talk about Dracano.
I saw the trailer for Dracano right around the time of Sharknado exploding, naturally, and the trailer totally sucked me in with a fun, familiar cast, and a wild idea.
That idea being that, volcanoes are seeded with dragons, and its a long-kept secret that the government has been keeping an eye on them and keeping them from escaping and devouring humanity.
And as much as I was so behind this movie, it came out and I *completely* missed it, until recently, so here I am with my review!
We open with a Canadian tv and movie mainstay, Corin Nemec, trying to run experiments and predict volcanic eruptions, but things go awry and his minion on the mountain gets eaten by a dragon. Now, they don't SEE the dragon at the time, so they just think it was regular volcanic shenanigans.
He and his daughter, along with his Canadian tv and movie mainstay girlfriend, Victoria Pratt, head out to investigate and run into some hatching dragon eggs, which are very quickly dispatched by some military forces. See, dragons are only vulnerable for a short time after they hatch, and once their scales harden, they are virtually invulnerable to any man-made weapons, up to and including nuclear bombs.
Okay, I can actually roll with that setup. These things live in volcanoes and magma, so they gotta be tough for the heat and the pressure. Plus, it's a huge sense of danger because they're effectively invulnerable after a short window.
Doctor Nemec tries to warn the world, but is VERY quickly discredited by the government who want to keep the existence of dragons hush hush, and he is fired from his cushy teaching gig by Canadian tv and movie mainstay, Gina Holden.
Of course, once the situation becomes dire, and the dragons are coming out in full force with no way to stop them, leaving humanity as their snack plate...well, the government lets a news reporter spread the news immediately, and they go running back to Nemec for his help in stopping them.
OOPS our bad! Yeah, that kinda plotting bugs me, and it's eye rolling here. "We want you to be silence and will absolutely ruin your life and career and reputatiuon! ...But can you help us??
After a lot of running around and failed attempts, the team finally uses Nemec's volcano techn he was testing to cause a cave in and bury the mother dragon, and sending all the other ones back, for handwavy reasons that work well enough if you're immersed in the plot.
The movie's pretty fun, and low budget fun at that, but it has a few problems, from some moments of extreme silliness, to a goofy plot, and a level of believability that never quites make me suspend my own disbelief.
I was so ready to be all behind this movie, especially when the ending was going for a MAJOR sacrificial play that would have brought a gigantic level of pathos and meaning to the plot when someone needs to go down into the lava to set off the devices in the right spot and time to save the day. I am all for a darker ending, where the day is won, but at a high price.
Instead, the movie has them saved at the last minute, which felt like such a ruined opportunity. Still, it was a solid enough story, and they DID set up the survival so it wasn't a total deus ex machina.
You just know this is a Canadian production right from the get go, and considering the monster disaster movie formula, the title, the location, I am honestly surprised that this is NOT a Syfy Channel/Asylum coproduction. It hasn't even BEEN on the Syfy Channel yet, to the best of my knowledge, which is just as surprising. Every inch of film screams that this should be a Syfy Saturday night movie
The CGI was cheap, but worked for the movie. And was way better than some other recent Syfy movies, so there's that. I loved the unstoppableness of the dragons, which really gave a sense of danger and perfect doomed scenario. It was nice that this was a movie you could not kill your way out of. The best they could do was survive, and hopefully stop the rampage.
While the movie never quite lived up to my lofty expectations, it WAS fun, in a silly way, and I enjoyed the 90 minutes I spent in their world, for the most part. If you don't go in expecting much, it's a decent enough popcorn flick with a decent enough cast and fun plot. A nice little guilty pleasure that could have been so much more.
Definitely worth checking out and having fun with Dracano.