Hey folks, Valkor here. You know, I've sat through my share of films that had video game elements in them. And I've sat through films based on video games. But this next one is a weird one because not only is it a video game (not based on any known franchise), but it's also a film based around someone playing that game. The film is called "The One Warrior" and it stars Power Ranger turned MMA fighter Jason David Frank.
In "The One Warrior" Frank plays our nameless hero, who upon entering the land is now surrounded by death and mayhem. It is his destiny that he traverse this mythical land to meet the challenges and defeat the dark one known as Shoukata (Edward Saint Pe). And much like any action/RPG, The One Warrior will go on quests (even tackle a few side quests), along with his sidekick Brutus (Brent Henry) battling Shoukata's forces such as the Samurai Six, The Ghost of Mendinas, a giant, a guy known as the Demon Slayer (Drew Williams), he meets Amazonian women - all played by the same woman (Jennifer Paige) looking for snu snu (I'm not kidding… though they don't actually say "snu snu". Basically I think it's a reference to that Futurama episode), and he even faces Death himself, who gives him several options for returning to the real world.
To aid him in his journey, The One Warrior will find assistance from a Dragon (voiced by Dominic Keating), the Lady of the Forest (I believe it's Melissa Cowley), and Merlin the forest wizard (Also Keating). And throughout his journey he'll find power-ups such as spells that give him weapons and other abilities (i.e. healing and turning ghost into real men), and from defeated foes he'll obtain crystals that will increase his strength.
It all leads up to the final showdown between The One Warrior and Shoukata. But I think we know how this one will end. I mean as it turns out it was Frank who was playing a video game all along, which puts the whole film into perspective. It's Definitely a different way to go with this film and I can see a company like Cartoon Network picking it up. I mean if they can air "Tim and Eric Awesome Show", which makes absolutely no sense (unless you're high as fuck) then they can certainly give this one a go. So if you've ever been a fan of Hercules (starring Kevin Sorbo) then you'll be in familiar territory, because even with the gaming elements, it feels like one of his adventures – cheesy monsters and all.
As cheesy bad as The One Warrior is, it could have been worse, but it does have a few saving graces. For one thing I like the idea of watching a video game being played out like a film (I mean Advent Children is pretty much that). So yea I get it. The story is pretty decent, plus it's only 86 minutes long so you're not gonna waste too much time with this. The location where the film was shot is fucking gorgeous, very lush and gives it that nice fantasy feel. The special effects aren't great, but they work, especially when The Warrior finds a power-up - very Power Ranger-esque. But aside from the effects, I love the voice work when The One Warrior finds a new spell. "You've learned the spell of healing" or "You've learned the sword of the samurai", that's a nice touch. Overall this is good Saturday afternoon cheese. Now for the acting, Jason David Frank does an OK job as the hero, but the one that outshines them all is Dominic West who does triple duty as Merlin, the voice of the Dragon, and does the film's narration. Kudos to Jennifer Paige as well; it shows how much I was paying attention the first time around with this film, I didn't realize she played all the Amazonian women. Sweet. And hotty babe PerfectView, I gotta give it to Melissa Conway for nearly bustin out of that white dress and me nearly bustin out of... ahem.
Woooo! Where do I begin? First off the editing during the fight scenes – embarrassingly bad! Either it's too quick, too choppy, or too slow on the punches being thrown. You guys should check out Broken Path for low budget fighting done right (Also featuring Ranger Alum Johnny Yong Bosch). I know I said the story isn't that bad, but it's also not that great. There are events that happen that… well, I simply don't care for. Like The Warrior finding the sword spell in a fish and soon after he fights a bunch of swords! Huh? Why couldn't he have gotten the sword from one of those swords or from the thugs he just fought before finding the fish sword? If all it takes to find a powerful weapon is to slay a bunch of tiny creatures, then he should have been slicing up rabbits, birds, and squirrels. Another scenario is that he has to get the Sword of Flames on a mountaintop. This is the weapon he needs to defeat Shoukata. OK, but the sword is just… sitting there… unguarded… no one is watching it at all. You ever play a video game where the most powerful weapon in the game is just sitting there? Finally we have the last battle between The One Warrior and Shoukata – kinda lame. It ends too quickly. Then again The Warrior did find four power ups, so maybe he was just that strong? Finally that Brutus character knew waaaaay too much about what was going on. Oh wait, that's right it's a video game! See, I forgot!
That dialogue. Some of it is just... wow!
Who knows when and in what form "The One Warrior" will get, when a release is decided upon. But should it end up on Netflix or a television screen near you and should you have nothing else better to do, then check it out. Gamers, especially fans of action/RPGs, might also give this film a go, especially for some laughs. Overall its cheesy, but it has some nice acting and the story is pretty decent too. So it won't be a complete waste of time. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving "The One Warrior" a 2.5. Achievement Unlocked: Cheesy Goodness!