September 24, 2012
Mark Atkins, Rafael Jordan
Corin Nemec as John Hammond
Dominika Juillet as Gina Humphries
Benjamin Easterday as Meyers
Nikolette Noel as Rhonda Gutierrez
If you enjoy goofy, intentionally satirical self-aware creature features, you’re bound to find some joy in Joe Knee’s Dragon Wasps. This is B movie madness at its finest, and not a single member of the crew seems as though they took the project all too seriously, which is the proper mindset when approaching a feature of this nature.
Well, perhaps it’s not quite true to say “not a single member”, as male lead Corin Nemec seemingly missed the memo that this one isn’t a likely shoe-in for any award nominations: Nemec gives it his all as the gung-ho tough guy John Hammond. There’s nothing wrong with performing at 110% for every production; in fact, it’s an admirable practice. The problem is when one performer reaches well beyond the capabilities of their counterparts, it creates an imbalanced product. Every actor you’ll see onscreen in Dragon Wasps fit into the B movie niche quite well: wooden acting, awkward presence, and taking comfort in hokey lines. Then you’ve got Corin, who shows up and turns in an A grade performance. It maybe wasn’t his intention, but he outshines everyone in the film by a massive landslide and it leaves the audience asking “why the hell is this guy fronting Dragon Wasps rather than returning to well respected works like Supernatural or The Stand?”
In any case, even Nemec is willing to have a laugh at himself as exhibited in a humorous exchange in which some other campy Syfy flicks like Mansquito (which Nemec fronted) are mentioned in jest. It’s nice to see his sense of humor is intact, because he shoots straight throughout the duration of Dragon Wasps. Speaking of humor, there are actually quite a few “laugh out loud” moments delivered, and writers Mark Atkins and Rafael Jordan are owed gratitude for knowing when to play the chuckle card. A few scenes threaten to become too serious to fit comfortably in the context of the production, and these brief comedic reprieves are well timed.
As for the actual story itself… well, there isn’t much to talk about here. The concept is pretty typical genetic alteration brouhaha, and the end result yields massive wasps with dragonfly-like traits and… the ability to breathe bursts of fire. You know, like actual dragons. It is admittedly lame and unbelievably outlandish, but the truth is: it’s a funny flick that should probably come packaged with a 12 pack of beer. This is one of those flicks that is just begging to have a drinking game molded around its consistent pitfalls and wretched dialogue. Hell, if it came packaged with some Sam Adams, many would buy the flick in the blink of an eye!
When (or if) you opt to tune into Dragon Wasps, be prepared for ridiculousness. There shouldn’t need to be such a warning issued; the film’s title alone should have tipped you off. Having said that, this one is worth a watch: probably not two, but a single screening makes for lighthearted laughs. Those who enjoy monster movies will find the funny in the special effects, and those who are simply bored and looking to dump 90 minutes into brainless entertainment, well, Dragon Wasps should satiate that element of the appetite as well.