Dragons are loose in the modern-day United Kingdom. No, it’s not a reboot of Reign of Fire, as appealing a thought as that might be. It’s Dragon Fury, (Dragon’s Fury on the copy I saw), the latest film from producer/director Scott Jeffrey (Cupid, Conjuring the Genie) and co-writer Rhys Waterfield. How well does the uber prolific Jeffrey make the transition from man in a suit monsters to computer-animated beasties?
Fifty years ago there was a massive spike in global radiation. Nobody knows why but they do know the source was a remote area of Wales. That area has been off-limits ever since. A couple of vloggers who sneak in, not that it looks very guarded, find out that getting caught is the least of their worries. That’s because, in case the title didn’t give it away, a dragon has taken up residence in the area.
Vanessa Reid (Nicola Wright, Kill or be Killed, Witches of Amityville Academy) meanwhile is being offered an assignment. Regroup her old team and, verify the creature’s existence and if possible bring it back. Preferably alive. So she calls up Libby (Chelsea Greenwood, Bad Nun: Deadly Vows) and Lexy (Sofia Lacey, Dinosaur Hotel). On-site they team up with Professor Palson (Andrew Rolfe, Tooth Fairy: The Last Extraction) and his assistant Nicole (Chrissie Wunna, War of the Monsters). The hunt is on.
Almost immediately Dragon Fury starts sending up red flags. The elite team sent to capture the creature looks like a trio of bitchy old housewives, not special ops veterans. One is even on crutches. As soon as they get to the location, Palson gives an explanation for the radiation that’s anything but mysterious. That’s not a good start, especially given Jeffrey’s reputation for sloppy scripting and filmmaking.
If you were hoping the appearance of the dragon early in the film was an indication that Dragon Fury would be a full-on monster movie, it isn’t. The script bogs down in drama and recriminations over their previous mission, a mysterious egg and the effects of the radiation. We don’t even get to see what hatches out of the egg.
The dragon finally comes back in the last act, but it’s just for a few quick appearances. Given the budgets, Jeffrey works with I suppose we should be grateful we see the creature as much as we do. Not that the appearances are all that great, the CGI for both the creature and its fiery breath ranges between acceptable and bargain-basement quality. This is too bad because the dragon itself is pretty cool looking.
The plot itself turns out to be bargain basement as well, devolving into some well-worn cliches as it goes on. It all finishes with an utterly predictable last half hour where you can guess who dies and in what order. The dragon’s origin, when finally revealed, is another non-surprise, and the final shot of Dragon Rage is just the non-ending you would expect.
With titles like Dragon Fury, Dinosaur Hotel and Jurassic Island, Jeffrey and his Jagged Edge Productions seem to be taking a run at the giant monster market. Hopefully, he finds a reliable source of at least SyFy level CGI and a few original ideas for them. We already have The Asylum, we don’t need a British version of it.
Dragon Fury is scheduled for a September release in the UK. ITN will release it on October 6th in the US. You can keep an eye on Jagged Edge’s Facebook page for details. ITN has a page as well, but it doesn’t seem to be getting updated. Which is odd considering the number of films they’ve been releasing lately. Or are they not proud enough of them to post about and promote them?