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R: ARCHIVE, S: REVIEWS, D: 05/01/1997,

Warriors of Virtue

Ronny Yu's medieval-looking fantasy has nary a hint of the torrid choreography on view in his visionary Bride with White Hair. No doubt the shallow goal of technical "perfection" runs counter to the Hong Kong preference for sloppy passion and hyperbolic verve. It's also true that Warriors means to be more of a kids' film. The pre-teen protagonist is Ryan (Mario Yedidia), a football waterboy who wears a leg brace and laments that "it's hard to fly with a broken wing." But fly he does after being transported by a bully's dare into a fairytale world under siege from an evil warlord (Angus Macfadyen). His leg miraculously healed, Ryan springs into heroic action with help from the Warriors of Virtue: five kung fu-fighting kangaroos with Yoda-like ears and Ewok snouts. Only one element remains clearly traceable to Hong Kong cinema: the titular warriors are badly dubbed. At the Copley Place, the Fresh Pond, and the Circle and in the suburbs.

-- Rob Nelson