Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

As our film ‘Wushu Warriors’ begins, a trio ninja are moving towards a ship which contains a lot of boxes of opium. How do I know these boxes have opium in them? Well, because it says so right on the side of the boxes in big black letters. There is also some Chinese writing on the side of the boxes which I assume also says ‘OPIUM’. Admittedly I’m not on top of the finer points of drug smuggling but I would think if I were a drug smuggler I wouldn’t emblazon my shipment with ‘CRACK COCAINE’ on the side of my wood crates as that just might tip off the DEA as to what I am doing. But what the hell do I know about drug smuggling. Anyway our ninja’s burn the opium and kill up a bunch of hapless workers in the process as our film about The MAN and his oppression of the CHINESE MAN in colonial China begins it’s sordid, uninspiring tale.

The leader of this drug smuggling enterprise is the evil Lord Edward Lindsey (Matt Frewer) who is confronted by the local governor on how evil he is and how he is going to expose him to one and all. I’ve seen enough of these movies to know what happens to dudes who walk into the lion’s den talking junk, and thus this idiot governor gets pretty much what he deserves. But this isn’t enough for Lord Lindsey who has informed this man that he also has plans to murderize the governor’s young son Jonathan as well, simply as a bonus for this clown being so stupid. Fortunately Jonathan is saved by our opiate destroying ninja and hidden away at ninja summer camp where he will learn the ways of the Wushu.

My friends, what we’re witnessing here is the birth of the White Guy Ninja as Jonathan (Todd Fennell) would be the precursor of Michael Dudikoff and the Gymkata dude and all kinds of glorious White Guy Ninja. Master Li (Xiao Lung Ding) has taught Jonathan well, but yet Jonathan still harbors hatred for the man who murdered his father, a hatred which is holding back the dragon inside. Still there is

opium to destroy and on a recon mission Jonathan accidentally kidnaps Lord Lindsey’s super hot, kung fu enabled, voodoo assisted, equally evil daughter Priscilla (Amber Mullin). Jonathan informs Priscilla that her old man is oppressing ‘his people’. Priscilla reminds Jonathan that she’s ‘his people’ and then puts that voodoo on him which confuses the poor boy and muddles his brain and his desire for his true love, the ninja girl he was raised with, Quin Ha (Lok-Tung Po).

Eventually everything bubbles up to the big confrontation between the forces of good versus Lord Lindsey’s forces of evil, with the balance of this battle resting on whether or not Jonathan can find the ‘Dragon Inside’. Oh… did I mention they killed his master? I know that’s a spoiler and all but it is a kung fu movie. At least in theory.

I’m thinking, after actually experiencing ‘Wushu Warriors’ there’s not a lot that anybody who watches this movie is going to find much to enjoy about this movie. Since the movie is called ‘Wushu Warriors’ and Wushu being the art form of Jet Li, our number one hope would be that we are in for a kung fu-riffic ride down the action highway, but if you happen to be a fan of Kung Fu flicks, like we are here, then move on… nothing to see here. The martial arts scenes are few and far between and what is here isn’t anything that’s going to please even the most forgiving fan of kung fu action as these scenes are choreographed in a way that makes the action in ‘American Ninja’ look like ‘Masters of the Flying Guillotine’.

So in absence of solid kung fu action, in a movie in a movie having the nerve to call itself Wushu Warriors, maybe it might work as a dramatic piece. I mean the story of the young white man raised by natives to battle with his own worked in ‘Dances with Wolves’ and ‘Avatar’ didn’t it? Well this movie isn’t those movies. A lot of the dialog was painful to listen to and on top of this painful dialog was the fact it was being badly dubbed in for a lot of the Chinese actors. Jonathan Fennell was an underwhelming action hero at best, Matt Frewer’s representation of the heavy in this movie was almost comical but Xiao Lung Ding did have the old wise Chinese Master bit down pat with the best of the performances going to Amber Mullin who was very interesting to watch as the evil, voodoo, kung fu daughter.

Outside of the fact the movie was very nice looking ‘Wushu Warriors’ was a huge disappointment for me. I don’t what I was expecting from this combination French Canadian, Chinese, kung fu actionless melodrama, but I know I was expecting more than what I got out of it.

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