Warriors of Virtue

Bomb Rating: 

Directed by Ronny ("Bride with White Hair") Yu, this film is the first production from the Law brothers, a family of doctors who live in Denver. It seems to me that in making a first foray into filmmaking, one would want to follow a course of relative safety: A buddy picture or a thriller might be a wise choice. In some fit of wisdom, however -- which they should pray doesn't reflect on their effectiveness as doctors -- the Law brothers have picked that favorite of cinematic genres: the kung-fu-fighting kangaroo film.

These kangaroos (called "Rooz" because adding another two syllables to their names just slows everybody down) are discovered in a fantasy world by Ryan Jeffers (Mario Yedidia), a little kid with a leg brace who falls into a whirlpool while trying to make a good impression on the quarterback of the high school football team.

This film is packed with drivel about the five Rooz representing the five different elements of the Earth. Naturally, there's some evil guy they're battling and Ryan represents the key to victory because he and he alone holds the secret to the mystical "manuscript of legend." This all amounts to little more than an elaborate ruse (get it?) to explore the machinations of a boy attempting to discover some inkling of self-esteem through his vivid imagination.

That one of the Rooz sounds exactly like Yoda is no coincidence -- Yoda appears to be the author of the script. "Warriors of Virtue" is full of more starry-eyed gobbledygook than a UFO convention. Half-animal, half-human characters walk around like the mutant children of Bernie Siegel as they talk endlessly of "peace" and "love" and "harmony." If the Law brothers want to do their part to promote healing, they ought to keep their amateur psychobabble to themselves and stay out of the film business.

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