Review: Virtually Heroes / Cert: TBC / Director: G.J. Echterkamp / Screenplay: Matt Yamashita / Starring: Robert Baker, Brent Chase, Katie Savoy, Mark Hamill / Release Date: TBC
At 87, legendary producer Roger Corman keeps discovering new talent and entertaining audiences around the world with his movies. His latest offering Virtually Heroes is a fun, action-packed film reminiscent of the 1990 arcade game NAM-1975, that began the adventure with the classic phrase, “The roar of the helicopters snaps us back into reality. We will never forget the nightmare of that summer… Vietnam… I just don’t want to go back there… ”
It’s an appropriate tribute too as our heroes, Sergeants Brooks and Nova (Baker and Chase) deliver us right into the action from the first frame, battling hoards of marauding enemy soldiers in a version of Vietnam within their video game universe. Their mission: to rescue sexy reporter, Jennifer Hardaway (Savoy) who has been kidnapped by rebel forces.
Recycling footage from Corman’s Filipino-made Vietnam war movies the same way Joe Dante did with his first film, Hollywood Boulevard, Echternkamp does a great job in creating a thrilling environment for his characters and keeping everything bowling along at a fast pace. Just like any video game, our two heroes have an arsenal of exotic weapons to choose from in a magic knapsack in order to fight the overwhelming, endless supply of baddies that keep coming and coming and coming.
Scribe Yamashita does the film poetic justice with enough gaming references to please any fan of the genre, blended with some nice touches of comedic flair. The characters are likeable and there’s plenty of snappy banter between our two heroes. You also get a crazed major reminiscent of Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now, and Mark Hamill as a shaman delivering infinite wisdom to our heroes in their time of need. He’s a cross between Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi – perhaps channelling things to come as Luke Skywalker in the future Star Wars movies?
Expected Rating: 6 out of 10