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"WARRIORS OF VIRTUE"
(1997) (Mario Yedidia, Angus MacFadyen) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Moderate Mild Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate None Mild
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Minor Minor Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Adventure: A teenager finds himself in a mystical world where he must help the inhabitants stop an evil tyrant from draining their last lifespring of energy.
PLOT:
Ryan Jeffers (MARIO YEDIDIA) is a typical teenager who wants to be the like the sports jocks, but feels inhibited by his leg brace. He lives vicariously through mystical martial arts stories told to him by Ming, a Chinese restaurant chef who gives him an ancient manuscript to live by. Ryan dreams of wild adventures and when the cool kids in his school challenge him to cross over a dangerous whirlpool, he gets his chance as he falls in and finds himself in another world. There he meets Elysia (MARLEY SHELTON), who informs him that he's been transported to the land of Tao, where an evil lord, Komodo (ANGUS MACFADYEN), is draining their all important "lifesprings" to keep himself young. With just one lifespring left, the survival of their world is in doubt, but the inhabitants are protected by Master Chung (CHAO-LI CHI) and his Warriors of Virtue. These "Roo Warriors," or Rooz, are kangaroo-like creatures and they harness their power from nature and include Yun, virtue of benevolence and the force of water; Yee, virtue of righteousness and the strength of metal; Lai, virtue of order and the stability of wood; Chi, virtue of wisdom and the power of fire; and Tsun, virtue of loyalty and the security of Earth. Since Ryan is the only one who can read the ancient manuscript, Komodo tries to capture him to unleash its powerful secrets while the Rooz try to defend Ryan and their lifesprings.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids may be drawn to the adventure story, but teens will probably pass on this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For fantasy action violence and some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARIO YEDIDIA plays a kid who believes that his leg brace will keep him from ever becoming like others he idolizes. He learns, however, in his adventure in Tao that he can be whatever he wants.
  • ANGUS MACFADYEN plays an evil warlord who puts his own desires ahead of everyone else, even if it means destroying them and their world.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
    This is a moderately entertaining film that will be a mixed bag for children. While there are enough action scenes to keep their interest, many other scenes and lines of dialogue will bore and/or confuse younger children. Adults will soon tire of the many martial arts scenes and will see too many resemblances to the "Star Wars" trilogy (without the sci-fi gadgetry) to enjoy this production. Like those successful films, this one has a young protagonist whose boring life is transformed when he finds himself in an exciting adventure where the good forces are battling the evil ones and even includes a battle between the grand masters of both sides (much like Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader). The film even goes so far as to have one of the Rooz sound so much like the Yoda character that if you take your eyes off the screen, you'd swear it was him. While it's no crime to use that basic story (which "Star Wars" borrowed from earlier films), this one doesn't really add anything new and thus seems that much more of a rip-off. Lacking much imagination and containing way too many slow motion fighting scenes, it's doubtful this film will be much of a success with the young generation audience it's aiming for. It certainly won't crossover to the adult audience and will probably be on its way to the video stores soon. We give it just a 3 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Beyond the fighting violence that heavily fills the end of the movie, and one quick volley of profanity, there isn't much to object to in this film. Some younger children may be frightened by some of the scenes and violence that occurs, but older kids shouldn't have any problem with it. If you're concerned about your kids imitating martial arts behavior, you should know that this film is filled with it. 4 "s" words are the worst of the profanity and all occur within about thirty seconds. The main bad guy is evil and obviously has a bad attitude, but only the youngest of children will be scared by him. Some other students taunt Ryan and/or make fun of him, so some kids might identify with that plight. Other than that, the rest of the categories are relatively mild in content. Still, we suggest that you read through the scenes to determine if this film is appropriate for your children.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Both Komodo and Master Chung have just a little bit of blood on their faces after fighting each other.
  • The retractable claws of an evil woman are bloody after she’s just impaled Elysia with them.
  • Several of the Rooz have bloody noses and/or lips after their final battle with Komodo.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Obviously Komodo’s selfish and violent behavior reeks of both, and his followers have the same.
  • A football jock purposefully spits water onto Ryan’s feet.
  • The football jock and the others taunt Ryan into trying to cross over a raging whirlpool on a pipe and shout taunting phrases, "You’re moving like a baby" and "Why don’t you get down and crawl" at him.
  • It turns out Elysia works for Komodo.
  • Ryan calls a "small person" a "two-foot creep" after he’s undermined Ryan’s efforts.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Younger children may find scenes listed under "Violence" as also being frightening and/or tense.
  • The "cool kids" take Ryan and a friend into an old water/sewer facility to "initiate" the two. The football jock walks across a slippery pipe over a raging whirlpool and taunts Ryan to follow him. Ryan starts across and then stops in the middle, precariously balancing himself. A large amount of water gushes out of a pipe and knocks Ryan into the whirlpool and he disappears into the whirling vortex.
  • Several of the Rooz are caught and strung up by chains. Moments later, they’re dropped into a pit filled with razor sharp blades jutting from the walls and spinning blades at the bottom. They hold on for dear life and just manage to avoid being chopped to bits at the bottom as they make their escape.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Spear: Thrown by one of Komodo's men at Ryan. It impales his backpack, but doesn't hit him.
  • Swords: Used during the many fight scenes throughout the movie.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phases: "Did you say something, or did you fart?", "Shut up," "Wussies," "Punk," "Wimp," "Jerk," "Sucker," "Creep," "Dork," and "Go to hell."
  • There is a tremendous amount of karate action/fighting that many children may want to imitate.
  • The "cool kids" take Ryan and a friend into an old water/sewer facility to "initiate" the two. The football jock walks across a slippery pipe over a raging whirlpool and taunts Ryan to follow him to spray paint his name on the wall like others have done.
  • The football jock has several earrings in one ear.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a moderate amount of suspenseful music throughout the movie.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • 4 "s" words, 1 hell, and 3 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use of "God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Elysia shows some cleavage in a low cut dress after she’s turned to the bad side.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Elysia mentions that her brother was killed in the past and we later learn that the death motivates a great deal of her action.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The brace on Ryan’s leg and his attitude (self-limiting) toward it.
  • At the beginning, Ryan wants to be like others, but soon he learns to be the best he can - - as himself.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Several of Komodo’s men show up and chase Ryan when he first arrives in Tao. One of them throws a spear at Ryan that impales his backpack, but doesn’t get to him. One of the Rooz then shows up and fights off Komodo’s men with karate kicks and punches.
  • One of Komodo’s men falls to his death after disappointing his master.
  • It’s mentioned that the Rooz made a pact never to kill anyone, but that in the heat of one battle, one of them did kill someone and is now disillusioned with their cause.
  • After several of Komodo’s people grab Ryan, Yun goes into action and fights them.
  • Several of the Rooz are caught and strung up by chains. Moments later, they’re dropped into a pit filled with razor sharp blades jutting from the walls and spinning blades at the bottom. They hold on for dear life and just manage to avoid being chopped to bits at the bottom as they make their escape.
  • There’s a long fight scene between Komodo and Master Chung involving lots of martial arts action, flying through the air, and sword battles. In the end, Chung is killed by Komodo.
  • Komodo’s men attack the village and there’s a big battle among the people (people being hit and thrown). The Rooz then show up and battle the bad guys.
  • An evil woman with retractable claws impales Elysia with them, killing her. Komodo then mentally throws this "clawed" woman across the room.
  • Komodo splits into five versions of himself, all of which then fight with the Rooz in a long, drawn out battle at the end of the movie. More martial arts fighting and sword play dominate the scene.



  • Reviewed April 26, 1997

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