Photo Credit: James Mann
Sundance Film Festival
Director: G. J. Echternkamp
In the fashion of Disney’s “Wreck-It-Ralph”, G. J. Echternkamp’s “Virtually Heroes” trails a video game character who begins to question his pre-programmed lifestyle, but, unlike the children’s animated feature, gamers can find vulgar pop culture references embedded throughout this R-rated live-action creation. In this “game”, Books (Robert Baker) and Nova (Brent Chase) are two U.S. soldiers hell bent on blowing up every Vietnamese opponent in their path, even if it takes several tries after dying at the hands of the level’s main boss over and over again. Books begins to puzzle over his own existence when a peculiar monk observes the action from a distance causing confusion for the hero. As the duo fight their way through the chaotic levels to save a ditzy damsel in distress, their partnership will be tested along with their tea bagging skills. Like “Ralph”, Echternkamp earns the majority of his laughs from the subtle jabs and winks at classic video game references, but, unlike “Ralph”, Echternkamp is unable to preserve the tactic for more than 30 minutes, leaving the remainder of the film filled with unrefined jokes and mediocre acting, even for executive producer Roger Corman’s standards. The greatest takeaway is a glimpse at Mark Hamill effectively embodying a Kwai Chang Caine/Yoda teacher blend, which may give sci-fi geeks a glimpse of where the Star Wars franchise could be heading for Episode VII. A geek can only dream!
Time: 1.22, 11:30 PM Venue: Prospector Square Theatre, Park City
Time: 1.24, 9:00 PM Venue: Egyptian Theatre, Park City
Time: 1.25, 12:00 AM Venue: Tower Theatre, SLC