Written and directed by Ritchie Greer, Weekend Warriors is an action/thriller movie. It stars Corbin Bernsen, Jason London, Jack Gross, Juliet Rusche, Pilot Paisley-Rose and Daniel de Weldon.
Scottie (Gross) is your standard young teen nerd that we’re introduced too as he gets into bother with the class bully at school. He needs a break, so when the opportunity arises for him to get away on a camping trip with his Uncle Joey (London), he jumps at the chance.
Along with his younger sister, Jamie (Rusche) they meet up with Joey who suggests the kids come along with him on a weekend getaway with his friends. A weekend camping in the woods playing wargames. It doesn’t seem like the most responsible thing to do but Joey insists it will be fun and that his friends are all really nice.
They’re not. That much is made clear when they meet up with the rag-tag group of ex-felons and extreme weekend warriors. One in particular, Wesley (de Weldon) is not happy to see the kids. An abusive man with a past, his girlfriend Amy (Paisley-Rose) suffers the brunt of his hot temper. He’s immediately unlikable.
Once out in the woods, it’s revealed that these weekend warriors are planning a game of ‘capture the flag’ using powerful paintball guns to simulate death. It would be all fun and games if Wesley and his cohorts could stop taking it so seriously but as he puts it; they are a brotherhood.
Wesley demands loyalty from everyone so when he suspects Joey of doing something to Amy, he plans his revenge. The kids are sent away to watch the games from a safe, high distance and then witness Wesley murdering Joey in cold blood.
The rest of his crew are all too happy to pretend nothing happened but Wesley is all to aware that the kids saw what happened and need to be dealt with. The hunt is on.
Honestly, I wasn’t too sure I’d like Weekend Warriors. The premise of extreme survival and hunting isn’t exactly the most thrilling concept personally. In addition, Weekend Warriors isn’t a horror movie (albeit traditionally). It’s a thriller (which is one type of horror, I guess) with action moments here and there.
Hence the reason this review has been written without our usual title. So why am I reviewing it on GBHBL.com? Simply because I am a huge fan of Daniel de Weldon and wanted to see what his latest film was like.
So, let’s begin the cast talk with him. Damn, he makes a great villain and his Wesley is so easy to hate. With this many characters, it would be so easy to get lost in the shuffle but de Weldon steals the spotlight. The best bad guy characters are the ones you want to see get their comeuppance and Wesley is one you’ll happily see dead in a ditch.
The two kids; Jack Gross and Juliet Rusche are also great. Easy to root for and likable enough to enjoy watching. The same goes for Jason London’s Joey, who I was sad to see exit the story so early. Around them, everyone has their own part to play and stand out in their own individual moments.
The story moves along at a decent pace and while the situation isn’t something I thought I could buy into; it’s done in such a way that I fully bought into it. It manages to keep it feeling real enough without over-doing the emotional aspect of the kids learning to survive on their own.
So where do the thrills come from? We have kills and we have violent moments. However, the lack of compassion and no-nonsense approach to murdering some kids perhaps makes for the most horror-esqe elements of the film. It’s what I found I enjoyed the most about the movie. That and the excellent ending and of course, de Weldon’s phenomenal performance.
The Final Score - 8/10