Hitman Dragonetti is brought in for a job in Gothenburg but plans change when he becomes possessed by an unknown evil, and soon Dragonetti sets off a city wide massacre. By the end, Dragonetti will find himself in a gun battle with not only the crime lords who brought him in, but the army as well.
After "Die Zombiejäger", one of the most frustrating and irritating movies I've watched in this Swedish marathon, I was not looking forward to "Dragonetti" at all. Not one goddamn bit. But, such is life, I guess. "Dragonetti" is the follow up and prequel to "Die Zombiejäger" except with a complete focus on the assassin character Dragonetti. It's about what occurs before the events in "Die Zombiejäger" - It introduces us, sort of, to the "Evil" that possesses and controls Dragonetti, making him into a super-human killing machine. So when he is hired to do a job for a crime boss in Gothenburg an all out war breaks out between Dragonetti, the mafia, and even the army.
The good news, for me anyhow, is that "Dragonetti" isn't as bad as "Die Zombiejäger" was. As a matter of fact, Jonas Wolcher definitely improved in some aspects as a director, but, "Dragonetti" unfortunately was a bad movie as well. This time, the movie ad more unity; there weren't any conflicting themes or tones and it didn't feel like a dozen or so movies that were trying to be pieced together to form a single entity. That in itself made it a much easier movie to sit and watch and ultimately not hate as much out of sheer annoyance.
The story once again isn't as strong as it could be or should be; again, it is better than its predecessor and is a little more structurally sound. The problem is that the story is pretty thin - it's the action sequences that carry the movie along, which is fine in some regards. It's not like this would be the first 'dumb' action movie to be made but given the fact that it's about a hitman that becomes possessed and would eventually become involved in a zombie invasion. I expected there to be something more to the movie, other than Dragonetti doing little more than having pointless dialogue exchanges and going from location to location killing folks.
I know what you’re saying, "That's all we want in action movie, our protagonist kicking ass and killing bad guys." I know that but the problem is that the action scenes remind you that you're watching an amateur effort; they're not handled well at all. Yes, better than "Die Zombiejäger". WAY better, but, the cinematography is exceptionally terrible in "Dragonetti" so more times than not, you don't even get to see anything because the camera work is so poorly done. What you do get to see isn't anything extraordinary; possibly due to budgetary restraints but I think once again this has more to do with lack of knowledge and experience.
"Dragonetti" was suppose to be Sweden's answer to Japan's "Ichi the Killer" and you can definitely see the influence from Asian cinema in both movies from Wolcher, especially the work of Takashi Miike. However, the movies do little more than imitate; it lacks that punch, that visual impact that Takashi Miike and that style of cinema has when it comes to violence and action. I think Wolcher has something here with the character Dragonetti and has plenty potential to do something interesting with him, but he still has a ways to go before he gets there.
There was improvement from "Die Zombiejäger" to "Dragonetti" but only some. The movie still greatly suffers from technical issues: the music was terrible (various rock bands do not make for a good score), outside of Dragonetti the characters were worthless and the acting was dubious, the story needed more work, a majority of the movie is nothing but filler, and the camera work was disgusting. The "cinematography" in here is ungodly awful - shake the camera all you like, that isn't going to make the movie seem more real or draw me in. All it's going to do is piss me off, which is exactly what it succeeded in doing. But I digress, "Dragonetti" isn't a good movie and I don't recommend it all but I guess it could always be worse; it could have been more like "Die Zombiejäger".