Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released “Dragon Wars” to video retail and rental outlets on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

This is not a flawless picture; however, if you still enjoy the Godzilla-type movies you may just find a treasure in this release. Just put the DVD in the player, sit back, and send your mind away to play while you watch the surprisingly good CGI (computer generated images). This DVD can be an enjoyable experience.

The plot is a retelling of an old Korean legend with dragons, wizards and helpers who kick butt ... fantasy storytelling at its best. The movie basically tells its story by relating three tales with very little transition between the stories.

The first, which starts the ball rolling, is when a guardian falls in love with his charge and refuses to sacrifice her to the dragons back around 1500 BC in Korea. It seems whichever dragon gets the girl becomes almost a god.

This resulted in the bad dragon going after the girl and in the process destroying half the villages in Korea.

The guardian wears an amulet which denotes his job and the 20-year-old girl which he was to protect until the time of her sacrifice is born with a birthmark in the shape of a dragon.

Skip ahead several years and we find the guardian’s teacher, in America, as the elderly owner of an antique shop.

A 6-year-old enters the shop with his father and picks up the amulet. The old man tells the 6-year-old he is the reincarnation of the original guardian and proceeds to tell him the story about the failure of the previous guardian.

The third part is where the action really begins.

The 6-year-old is now 20. He still wears the amulet daily.

This release was produced in Korea for Korean audiences — the movie grossed 53.5 million outside the U.S. — so don’t expect things to hew to the American line. For one, the dragons both look like giant snakes which can breathe fire. The dragons (or at least the bad dragon) can also control vast numbers of minions which they may send to attack people and cities.

As I said, if you enjoy the Godzilla-type features, this one is right down your alley. The special effects are pretty good, there’s a lot of wholesale slaughter and destruction — about half of Los Angeles is destroyed by the dragon and its legion of minions while they search for the girl who has the birthmark marking her as fodder for the dragons.

It’s something different. It’s totally corny and implausible, but it’s “Dragon Wars”, it’s not trying to win any Oscars. The last 20 minutes of the movie had some good exciting action, and the final battle — for those who like things like that — was great.

And it just wasn’t violence, gore and explosions either, there were some (intentionally) funny lines and gags throughout. There are some holes in the story large enough to drive a number of Mexican trucks through, but those didn't really matter to me. I sort of tune out stuff like that and stopped asking why long time ago.

Speaking of holes, how do ancient dinos with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS — according to the army) rocket launchers on their backs sound? And, hey, if you gotta have an evil army, you gotta pull out all the stops, right? A little field artillary before the ground troops go in. What tactics — although one would think nothing would be left, given the kill radius of the rockets and artillery. We also can’t forget the smaller flying dragons wiping out the helicopters and tanks. And forget bullet proof vests, the armored marching minions of the Imoogi repel fire and anything else the police force and army can throw at them. Love it, just love it.

Now a word about the special features. There was a glitch on the DVD disk I reviewed that would not let me access the special features and the publicist had not forwarded a new disc to me in time for review so they are just listed.

Cast: Jason Behr, Amanda Brooks, Robert Forster, Aimee Garcia, Craig Robinson, Chris Mulkey, John Ales, Elizabeth Peña, Billy Gardell, Holmes Osborne, NiCole Robinson, Geoffrey Pierson, Cody Arens, Kevin Breznahan, Jody L. Carlson

Dragon Wars

Rating (**1/2 out of *****)

Synopsis (Courtesy of SPHE) Supposedly based on an ancient Korean legend, in a small Korean village, five hundred years ago, a girl named Narin was born carrying the coveted Yeouijoo inside her. The Heavens sent the protector Bochun and his protégé Haram, to ensure that when it came time, Narin was peacefully sacrificed to the pre-determined Good Imoogi. Bochun vigorously trained Haram as a knight, to be prepared for the eventual day when Narin would be delivered to the Good Imoogi. The day the Dark Imoogi, Buraki, and his army destroyed Narin's village looking for the Yeouijoo, Bochun instructed Haram to take her to the Good Imoogi.

The young girl and her knight would then fulfill the giant serpent's destiny by giving it the power to save the world and become a heavenly dragon. By this time, after spending several years together, Haram and Narin had fallen in love. Unable to sacrifice their love to the benevolent Imoogi, they jumped to their deaths together in each other's arms. The Good Imoogi's destiny was unfulfilled and he would have to wait another five hundred years until the next Yeouijoo appears.

It is now five hundred years later in present day Los Angeles and the quest for the Imoogi is reborn. Haram and Narin have been reincarnated as Ethan Kendrick (Jason Behr) and Sarah Daniels (Amanda Brooks) whose bond of love remains unsevered.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and creature action.

Running Time: 100 minutes

DVD Special features

• Featurette: “5,000 Years in the Making”

• Featurette: “Dragon Wars Animatics: From Storyboard to Screen,”

• Photo Gallery