tek's rating: ¼

Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, Disney Channel
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Welp, for the most part this seemed like the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but with a Chinese twist. Brenda Song (who we like) plays Wendy Wu, this California high school girl who's only really interested in popularity, and her focus at the moment is on running for homecoming queen. There's another girl named Jessica Dawson, who's also running, and Wendy's upset because she always has to do whatever Wendy's doing. Meanwhile, Wendy's mom works at a museum, which just got a shipment of Terra Cotta warriors from China for an exhibit. Both of Wendy's parents worry in the course of the film that they don't know enough Chinese history, never took an interest in it. Wendy's mom is also upset that she never paid attention to her own mother's stories when she was growing up.

Anyway, something else arrives at the museum, a box containing an ancient evil spirit named Yan Lo, who possesses the security guard. Yan Lo passes between many different people in the course of the movie. The first one after the guard is a guy delivering a pizza to the guard. And this guy happens to be Wendy's brother, Kenny. Fortunately, a Buddhist monk named Shen has been sent from China to train Wendy in Kung Fu. They have both been reincarnated repeatedly for like 1500 years, and like every 90 years or so, they have to fight Yan Lo. Of course, while Shen remembers his past lives, Wendy doesn't believe any of this, at first, and just wants him to leave her alone. Her grandmother, who lives with Wendy and her folks, believes the truth, however, because her own mother was the previous warrior Wendy must now become. Meanwhile, Shen protects her until Wendy accepts the truth.

I want to say, some of the fight scenes were decent, and some I didn't like so much. But one in particular I thought was awesome. A lot of the martial arts in this movie look like the Wudan style from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. And the scene where Yan Lo, in Wendy's brother, fights Shen in the living room while Wendy's asleep on the couch... damn, man, that was hella cool! I'd say the movie is worth watching for that one scene alone.

Anyway, of course eventually Wendy accepts the truth and starts training. And Shen gets some help training her from like some other monk spirits that possessed some of Wendy's teachers. And eventually there's a battle in the basement of the museum against Yan Lo and the Terra Cotta warriors who've come to life to serve him. And, I dunno what else to say. There's some funny stuff in the movie, and some stuff that's sort of lame but not terribly so. A lot of clichéd and predictable stuff. But on the whole it was reasonably entertaining. Definitely could've been a lot worse. And I'd probably like to watch it again, someday. I should also say that, while I've seen Brenda Song in a ton of different stuff on Disney Channel, this is probably my favorite role I've seen her in, so far.


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