One of these days, I am going to stop with my impulse buying of movies. I say that, but I know that it is a lost cause because it will happen again. Anyways, I was on eBay leaving feedback for a recent purchase when today’s movie popped up on my feed of items I might be interested in. Now I remember watching the movie on Sci-Fi/Syfy every now and then and always being entertained by it. So when I saw it was available for cheap, and with free shipping, well that was too good of a deal to pass up. Thus, I find myself watching today’s movie, Dragon Fighter.
The plot: In 1109, a group of knights are riding across the land when they see the burnt remains of a house with a woman clutching a dead baby lying just outside. The woman manages to ask about her baby before she dies from her wounds. When a dragon flies by overhead, the knights chase after it and track it to a mountain cave. The knights attempt to kill the dragon but when it’s fire breath causes a barrel of powder to explode, it ends up causing a cave in which kills all but one of the knights but traps the dragon inside the cave. In the present day, Captain David Carver is flying Dr. Ian Drackovitch to a secret underground research facility. During the flight, David tells Ian that he figured out that the facility is doing cloning experiments due to the high security clearance he was given, as well as all the medical supplies he was bringing in but no test animals for study. When David gets an alert about a problem with the fuel lines, he manages to land safely outside the facility and checks the problem but finds it isn’t serious. Ian leads David inside the facility, where he will be serving as the new head of security and military liaison to the project and they are met by Capt. Sergei Petrov, the current security officer, and Ian asks that Sergei show David around and calls for a team meeting. Sergei shows David to his quarters, where they run into Dr. Meredith Winter, who takes over showing David around and introducing him to the other members of the team; Dr. Greg Travis, Kevin Korisch, Bailey Kent, and Cookie (a deaf cook). During the meeting, Ian informs them that during an excavation in England, they discovered the remains of what appears to be an unknown dinosaur at the same ground level as some human remains and carbon dating tests show that the remains are only 1000 years old. The team is unsure about cloning a dinosaur but David theorizes that it could be a dragon, which most of the team scoffs at. David decides to work on fixing his helicopter in case they need it and Meredith goes to help him. Later, they begin the cloning experiment but are shocked when 3 hours later, the specimen has finished incubating. David asks if there are any weapons and Greg grabs a shotgun, saying that putting down animals is his responsibility. They head into the lab and Ian sends the specimen retrieval team inside to get the specimen but an explosion occurs and they lose the video feed inside the chamber. When their communications to the outside are severed, David grabs the shotgun from Greg and, despite Ian’s protests, Meredith opens the door, where they find the room covered in blood and a giant hole in the back of the wall, but no sign of the two men or the creature. Leaving the room, David goes with Greg to get what weapons they have, which consists of a second shotgun, and the two of them head into the tunnel after the creature, finding themselves in an underground basement. Forced to split up, Greg ends up being killed by the dragon and when David gets there, he tries shooting it but the shotgun has no effect. Running back into the lab with the dragon right behind him, David yells for them to open the door but Meredith is unable to open it. She asks Ian for the override code but he refuses to give it to her until Sergei points a gun at Ian’s head and forces him to do it. Outside the lab, David tells everyone that they are evacuating but Ian argues he is being rash as they have just made history. As David confronts Ian over his comments, they hear the dragon moving around in the chamber above them. David and Sergei head out to see if the elevator is secure before they bring the others with them but when the power is out for the elevator, Sergei goes to restore the power but is attacked by the dragon when it breaks through a nearby wall. David manages to get back to the lab and they notice that the dragon is moving around to where the ventilation system is active in order to stay cool. David asks if they can turn on the ventilation in one area so that the dragon will stay there and allow them to escape but Kevin says it can’t be done without a laptop from his room. When he refuses to go with him, David threatens to cut off his hand and Kevin reluctantly agrees to go. The two men make their way through the underground basement and make their way to Kevin’s room but after getting the laptop, Kevin decides to stay in his room and drink a bottle of scotch. When Kevin turns on his radio, the noise attracts the dragon, which attempts to attack David but he manages to get away although the laptop is burned. The dragon then heads to Kevin’s room and strikes the door and Kevin, thinking it is David opens it but sees nothing there at first but after closing it, he gets into a drunken anger over David threatening him and he opens it again only to find the dragon there, which kills him. David returns to the lab and they work on luring the dragon away from them but when they divert the ventilation from the lab, a warning goes off and Ian tells them that they have to cool the reactor or it will go critical and explode. David feels like that is a good thing as it will kill the dragon while they escape but Ian grabs the shotgun and shoots out the control board, trapping them unless David reroutes the power from another terminal. David has Cookie, who is not deaf but only lied about it to get a job, help him take off the ventilation panel and he makes his way through the vents to the auxiliary panel so he can restore the power but when he is attacked by the dragon, he is forced to hide in Ian’s room, where he discovers evidence that Ian knew what they were cloning all along. When he returns, he confronts Ian about what he found and Ian said that he felt the risk was worth the sacrifices. As the dragon heads off to the far side of the complex, David heads out to the elevator and the others follow, with Meredith stopping to grab one of the cloned dogs on her way out of the lab. They get in the elevator but the dragon knocks out the power, trapping them on the bottom floor. David tells them they have to climb out and Meredith follows him but the dragon appears and attacks the elevator. Ian manages to climb out but the doors open and the dragon kills Bailey and Cookie. David, Meredith, and Ian climb up the elevator shaft and take off in the helicopter just before the facility explodes, but unknown to them, the dragon had followed them up the shaft and escaped before the explosion. When the dragon starts attacking them in the air, Ian opens the side door to try and get a better look but ends up being thrown from the helicopter when the dragon attacks it. David manages to call the base for reinforcements and some fighter jets show up but the dragon manages to take out two of them. Since the jets are unable to get a lock on the dragon, David dumps his fuel onto the dragon then ignites it with a flare gun, allowing the jets to use a heat seeking missile to kill the dragon. Out of fuel, David manages to safely land the helicopter in a clearing and as they celebrate being alive, they end up deciding to go out for dinner. Meanwhile, a military clean up crew is sweeping the facility for biological materials when they discover a second cloning lab 100 feet underneath the first one, where another dragon specimen has come alive and attacks them.
An entertaining movie, mostly because of some of the ridiculousness in it. The acting was decent and while Dean Cain was the star, I personally liked Robert Zachar a lot better, as he did a good job playing the self-serving Ian. The story was interesting, although it really felt like a a cheap Jurassic Park knock-off. One thing that I was a little annoyed with was a small sub-plot of Ian seeing what happened to Kevin but not telling anyone, but they never really had any follow-up with it. The dragon looked pretty good but some of the other special effects were pretty bad, like the opening shot of Dean Cain flying the helicopter. Several of the cutaways and the multiple camera angles overlapping in one scene also got very annoying very quickly. Good for some quick entertainment if you have the time to kill.
Rating: 3 out of 5