Forest Warrior emerged during this period when the Norris brothers seemed to be desperately trying to reinvent Chucks career as anything other than a flagging action star. As mentioned above, the results were woeful. As a one-dimensional macho action star Chuck Norris has all the acting ability of a block of wood he simply does not have the range to do anything else. Forest Warrior is an ungainly attempt to reinvent Chuck Norris the action star as a liberal eco-defender. [Steven Seagal was making similarly unconvincing efforts at becoming an environmentalist action hero around the same time in films like On Deadly Ground (1994) and The Patriot (1998)]. The results emerge as laughable.
Forest Warrior feels like a film that takes its whole Sierra Club, Green-conscious thing far too seriously. The reverence for the land solemnity gets vey silly it is said of Chucks undead ghost warrior: McKennas spirit embodies the balance of nature, and the kids are joined by Chucks ghost as they stand around saying prayers to protect the land. In one scene where they are delivering an eco-vow, with absurd moment every character we have met in the film so far from miles around looks up in reverential silence. Even then there is a certain degree of unintentional double standards despite its pro-environmental, anti-logging theme, the film has a scene where Rosoe Lee Browne one moment lectures the kids on looking after the forest and in the next gives them a roll of bleached toilet paper to take with them. Things are extremely caricatured the villains are associated with environmentally-unfriendly montages of smoke belching out of the stacks of trucks and trees being mulched.
Forest Warrior also has the downside of being marketed as a childrens film, which must have been a painful comedown for once popular action man Chuck Norris. He is excruciatingly miscast as the caring eco-spirit where he offers agonizingly sincere advice to the kids in between teaching them martial arts moves. There are also various cutsie animal scenes. I suppose you at least have to compliment Chuck Norris on acting so painedly sincere while playing second fiddle to children and cute animals. The latter half of Forest Warrior descends into something akin to an eco-Home Alone (1990) with lots of childrens movie-sanctioned sadism against the one-dimensional buffoon villains. In one scene Terry Kiser is hog-tied and dragged through the forest while attached to a rolling log, before being sent over at least a hundred foot drop into a river, something that would almost certainly guarantee broken bones if not actually killing him in reality. On the other hand, all of Chuck Norriss martial arts moves come with a G-rated banality where, after being kicked in the head or thrown, everyone always manages to land safely.
On the plus side, Chuck does not appear much throughout mostly the film is concerned with juvenile kids antics running around the treehouse and foiling the slapstick villains. Young Megan Paul who plays the oldest of the kids is not bad. And Forest Warrior is at least better directed than Aaron Norrisss abysmal HellBound.
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 1996 list).
Full film available online here:-