Warriors of Virtue
Reviewed by Diane Squires
Rating: 7.5 Beans
am probably going to get hate mail for writing this review, because there are people out there who love this movie. If you are one of them, I suggest that stop reading right now, because what I have to say is only going to piss you off and spoil your day. After all, the site is "Bad Movie Night" so you can't be expecting me to say the film is good. However, if simply must keep reading, if you are determined to read this, well then I have only one thing to say to you...
ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?????????????? THIS MOVIE IS SO BAD, I CAN HARDLY EVEN MAKE FUN OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
... but I'm still gonna try...
Wariors of Virtue is the story of a kid named Ryan Jeffers. How do we know his name is Ryan Jeffers? Because the writer was suffering from Titanic Syndrome, otherwise known as an irresistable compulsion to repeat a character's name as many times as possible, just in case the audience forgot who they were. Ryan Jeffers is played by some kid I never heard of, whose career appears to have been effectively ended by the release of this movie. If you poke around on the Internet Movie Database, you'll find that this movie ended a lot of careers.
Ryan Jeffers is not popular. There are two possible explanations for his social leprosy, either his leg braces or his obnoxious personality. You decide. Since Ryan Jeffers has no friends, he spends his spare time hanging out at a local chinese restaurant and being waterboy for the high school football team (this kid is in high school? he looks like an eleven year old). Only two things of any interest happen during this portion of the film. The restaurant guys spout philosophy that makes no sense which somehow inspires Ryan Jeffers to catch a flying bowl of rice, and the football team hero decides that he has had enough of Ryan Jeffers.
Ryan Jeffers is dared into some dumb stunt that involves walking on a plank across what may or may not be a giant toilet. Ryan Jeffers is apparently dumber than plankton. Ryan Jeffers falls. Ryan Jeffers is flushed... and if you think this was lame, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
Ryan Jeffers is flushed into a sound stage otherwise known as "Tao" (if you've read "The Tao of Pooh", please feel free to roll your eyes at this point in the review). Tao is a mystical, somewhat damp looking place where creatures bounce around really fast, and Ryan Jeffers does not have to wear leg braces like Forrest Gump (however, his social leprosy remains uncured). Ryan runs around saying things like "yippee" and "yay" until he is interrupted by the Eighth Dwarf, the one that nobody told Snow White about, Cruddy (I know, it's really Mudlap, but Cruddy really sounds a lot better). Luckily, Elysia (Marley Shelton, one of the few people to escape the Warriors of Virtue Career Curse) arrives in time to rescue Ryan Jeffers and to take him to Master Chung(Chao Li Chi) and the Warriors of Virtue.
At the point, you should be asking, where are the damn warriors of virtue? The movie is half over and where are they? How come we've wasted all this time with this idiot kid, let's have some kungfu! The good news is, we are about to meet the warriors of virtue. The bad news is, they are giant kungfu kangaroos. Yes, you read that right, five giant, philosophy spouting, kungfu fighting kangaroos. Each one represents an element and a virtue, but I forgot what those might be so, let's just say we have Grunting Roo, Chick Roo, Abrasive Roo, Slightly-less-abrasive Roo, and Roo that we haven't met yet because he is off in the forest having an emotional episode. Whenever the Roos talk, they make a big fat point of either referring to their virtue of choice, or trying to sound like they are displaying it at all times. For example, the loyal one is always mentioning that they should be loyal to the the citizens of Tao (like the giant waterbuffalo guy). Within minutes, Ryan Jeffers is off to find Emotional Episode Roo so that the five Roos can unite and form Voltron. Meanwhile...
Somewhere else in Tao, in the middle of a converted airline hanger, the evil warlord Komodo (Angus MacFadyen, who is a decent actor, so we can only hope, for his sake, that he was kidnapped and forced to make this movie on pain of death) is plotting to take over the last lifespring in Tao, armed with the contents of Ryan Jeffers' backpack. Komodo appears to spend most of his time stealing clothes from MTV's goodwill bag, and putting on lipstick like Little Mister Makeup. He rants, he raves and he prances around like a glam rocker on acid, right down to the pointless poetry and the little vials of life force magic that he uses to get high. He has the Magic Book from Ryan Jeffers backpack that will allow him (and his embarrassingly pathetci henchmen) to defeat the Roos and escape from Tao, so watch out!
Pretty much for the next half an hour or so, the Roos try to steal back the magic book that Komodo found in Ryan Jeffers' backpack and Elysia turns out to be a life force magic snorting junkie with a fixation on her brother. The Roos escape, Elysia is conveniently disposed of, and Ryan Jeffers runs off into the woods to whine about how much life sucks. This leaves us ready for Komodo and Master Chung to have an Obi-Wan/Vader battle, and you know how that has to end. Komodo tells the dying Chung that he(Komodo) is in Hell, well duh, so is the audience.
So, now that Master Chung is dead and left to spout his Yoda wisdom from the grave, Ryan Jeffers and the Roo crew have to fight Komodo. Things aren't going very well. Ryan Jeffers runs off yet again, and much like another young Jedi before him, the voices in his head guide him to the Force, uh, I mean, the magic book from his backpack. The Roos must combine forces and form Voltron, I mean, uh, they must hold up their little amulet things and do some sorta zen deal, which is kinda the Roo Zen Voltron equivalent only without the cool robot. Kinda funny that all this damn time that they had the amulets, it never occured to them to use them, of course, what can you expect from a bunch of talking kangaroos?
Komodo gets sucked into a vortex, only to reappear thirty seconds later wearing the Tao version of a burlap sack, with no memory of his psycho glam rocker junkie days. The Lifesprings are renewed, Tao is saved and Ryan Jeffers is unflushed back to his own world, where he has a chance to rethink the giant toilet caper and decides that rather than risk flushing, he'll go off with his real friends (aka the kids who showed up to watch him get flushed in the first place). Oh and there's also this bit with a dead cocoon, but I think it went way over my head.
Preachy kiddie flicks piss me off and this one is about as preachy as they come. The dialogue is painfully deep and at the same time inept. The acting is for the most part either non-existent, or in other cases a valiant effort to save a film beyond saving. So the base score is ten beans. I'm gonna subtract one for Angus MacFadyen's inspired insanity as Komodo, yeah it's a sucky part but at least he makes it fun to watch. I'll deduct one more bean for the sake of the Kungfu sequences (even if they do feature kangaroos, it's still kungfu) and the fact that animatronic Roos look pretty good, their faces never have that Jar Jar Binks fake creature sheen. Oh and one more .5 beans deducted for the pretty scenery and for Marly shelton, who while she was not great, she was certainly far better than this film deserved. That makes a grand total of 7.5.
May the Kungfu kangaroos be with you!
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