Warriors of Virtue (1997)
Directed by Ronny Yu
Written by Michael Vickerman & Hugh Kelley

Finally, a film that teaches kids the important lesson that you can find strength and courage to be yourself as long as you have the help of five ass-kickin' kung-fu kangaroos.

My colleague Milton foisted this film upon me on a dare, knowing all too well what my boundaries for enjoyment are. I mean, I'm no purist … I loved Spiceworld, I saw Harriet the Spy in the theatre, I found many likeable attributes to Crossroads (actually, both films named Crossroads). But sticking me with a punch-the-clock kids' adventure movie from 1997 was just plain cruel.

Initially I was optimistic because I read a plot synopsis indicating the hero was a disabled kid, but as it turns out, he only has a leg brace. I was profoundly disappointed that he was not bound to a wheelchair, as I am with most people. Or severely retarded. I mean, a severely retarded junior high school kid fighting mystical villains with a bunch of ass-kickin' ninja wallabys? Okay, you've got my attention.

this movie sucks

But there was none of that to be found … in fact, if the kid had any serious disability, it was his compulsion to teach everyone "cool" handshakes. Why is it that in all these kids' adventure movies, the kid is completely nonplussed by his newfound surroundings, speaking comfortable slang and, like, teaching giant mice how to skateboard or whatever?

Warriors of Virtue didn't have any skateboarding either, though. Just a run-of-the-mill kid going through the motions of fighting a Darth Vader-style villain with his martial arts kangaroo friends.

Kung fu kangaroos. I mean, all movies have the same admission price, right? It's not like there needed to be a bargain-basement generic alternative to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, right? I mean, if you can't afford Cap'n Crunch™, it makes sense to get Ahoy Mateys™, but if you can't afford to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you can't just go see Warriors of Virtue 'cause it's cheaper.

And so people probably paid good money to see this piece of shit in the theatre. And come to think of it, the video store I rented it from had it on VHS and DVD, and the DVD was out! I sympathize with the poor nerd whose mom thought he might enjoy it.

It might have been better with Marilyn Manson as the cartoonishly over-the-top villain, but that's about the only way I could imagine it being interesting. None of the actors, from the cardboard "princess" character to the wise old "Mr. Miyagi" character to the ass-whoompin' kangaroos themselves, seemed to be in any way committed to their roles. They actually seemed more embarrassed than anything. And unfortunately, it wasn't even bad enough to be good-bad.

I did, however, enjoy the line: "Did you just say something, or did you fart?" I'm going to use that in meetings at work starting this week. And it's always a pleasure to see Michael Anderson, the backwards-talking midget from "Twin Peaks."

But honestly, the only thing I really enjoyed about Warriors of Virtue was having spontaneous sex about halfway through it.

Review by La Fée