Action Movie Fanatix Review: Dream Warrior

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After The Apocalypse… Humanity Will Rise Again.

Starring: Daniel Goddard, Sherilyn Fenn, Richard Norton, Lance Henriksen, Isaac Hayes

Stunt Coordinator: Richard Norton

Director: Zachary Weintraub

2003  |  91 Minutes  |  Rated R

“Finally these fucking freaks are going to realize their real worth in life.” – Archer

Dream Warrior sounds much more like a fruity feel good story than a good post-apocalyptic romp through the gravel pits.  Fortunately it’s a little more post-apocalyptic than it is fruity.

In a post-apocalyptic future, despotic leader, Parish (Lance Henriksen) attempts to build a “pure” human culture by wiping out the superpowered genetic mutant freaks.

After a crap CGI comet and a stock footage apocalypse the Dream Warrior actually sets a nice tone before bouncing back and forth between boring and awesome scenes.

This Zachary Weintraub guy must be a fan of Albert Pyun because he did exactly what Pyun has done for years – get a few good name actors and creatively put together the best movie possible on a shoestring budget.  Weintraub is no Pyun but at least (in my mind) he has a good role model.

So this Parish guy is some sort of a religious cult leader who occasionally drugs his followers, causing them to have huge orgies in abandoned buildings.  And as it turns out Parish is a mutant himself.  He has a mutant power of persuasion… pretty convenient for a cult leader, eh?

Richard Norton is not only the stunt coordinator but also Parish’s #1 gun, Archer.  This is kind of a chicken or the egg situation.  Did Archer pick his favorite weapon because it worked so well with his name or did he choose the name archer after deciding he liked shooting a mini crossbow gun?  The world may never know.

The freaks aka post-apocalyptic X-Men are the lamest mutant team since Excalibur (and truthfully much lamer).  None of them really knows how to use their powers that well.  It took Rage (Daniel Goddard) telling them to practice their powers to get them to think of that brilliant idea.  You’re telling me these freaks had powers and they opted not to use them at every possible second?  Even the guy with the lame power to figure out that they are close to a river by touching the ground should have been using his “power” non-stop… not to mention the girl with the only cool power in the movie – shooting lightning from her hands.

Anyway, all these superpowered freaks do all day is dream about some fantasy village by a river and occasionally driving their solar powered jalopies.  You can shoot lightning from your finger tips and instead of frickin’ frying everything in sight you dream about a village by a river.  COME ON!!!

The main problem with Dream Warrior is the pacing.  The movie spends far too much time focusing on the freaks’ dreams of a paradise village by a river.  Even though the freaks are the ones with the powers, their scenes are all too boring and looooooonnnngggg.  Every time the cameras were on the freaks I was bored, every time they were on Parish or Archer I was interested.

Isaac Hayes is also in Dream Warrior for a bit as a mysterious monky lookin’ (as in he looks like a monk) freak named Zo.  But every time he speaks I just hear Chef.

The cover of the DVD has absolutely ZERO to do with the actual movie.  Not a thing.  There is no one in medieval armor and it doesn’t take place in New York City, or any city for that matter.  Even the tagline doesn’t make much sense.  This isn’t Battlefield Earth, even if there is a crazy Scientologist in it..  They don’t have to rise above the freaks, the humans are the ones that are in control

It probably sounds like I hated Dream Warrior and I did sometimes but other times I was really digging it.  It had a lot of potential but never quite realized it fully.  It is definitely something very different for the post-apocalyptic genre.  Had the director opted to drop in some more fights, splosions, car chases or mutant power fueled battles it would have been a ton of fun.  Unfortunately he didn’t do that and the fun switch is in the off position for most of the movie.  As it stands I wouldn’t recommend Dream Warrior to most Fanatix.

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