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Forest Warrior Reviews

This is a folksy, self-righteous, coming-of-age tract with a heavy pro-conservation angle that features Chuck Norris personifying Nature by morphing into a range of animals, from a grizzly bear to a frisky raccoon. When not hiking through the forest, Logan (Josh Wolford), Austene (Megan Paul), Justin (Trenton Knight), and their pals enjoy the tall tales of Pacific Northwest storyteller Clovis (Roscoe Lee Browne). One such legend relates the saga of the Forest Warrior (Chuck Norris). Hunted down for his valuable land and slain while seeking medicinal herbs to save his wife, the Forest Warrior lives on as a specter protecting the interests of Mother Nature. While the kids hang out at a magnificent tree house, land developer Travis Thorne (Terry Kiser) rushes through a massive timber-clearing before a town ordinance can come into effect. Thorne's men endanger the children with demolition charges, but are outmatched by the Forest Warrior, who can change himself into a soaring hawk at will, or simply kickbox Thorne's thugs. Not only does this magic spirit of the glade heal Austene after the tree house explodes, but he actively backs up the kids's sabotage against Thorne's clear-cutting operation. Eventually, Thorne's personal encounter with the Forest Warrior rattles him sufficiently to quash further crimes against the trees. After Thorne and his men are arrested, the townspeople rebuild the children's tree house. The Forest Warrior continues to keep a vigilant eye on preserving the wilderness. Looking ridiculous in a scruffy hippie hairdo, Norris embodies the stoic spirit with a pitiful lack of verve. The characters he played in SIDEKICKS or FOREST WARRIOR will never be as impressive as the Norris of SILENT RAGE. In these kid-video surroundings, his kickboxing energy is diminished not due to any slackening of skill, but by the namby-pamby Disney-esque blandness. It's possible that youngsters will respond to the trained animals representing the various transformations of the Forest Warrior, but grown-ups will be less enthused. They'll be shaking their heads in disbelief at the slapstick reductio ad absurdum of the kung-fu matches, at Norris's comatose benevolence, and at the criminal waste of such fine character actors as Browne, Kiser, and Max Gail. (Violence, adult situations.)