THE WARRIOR’S WAY
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A master swordsman and warrior defies his master and leaves Asia to find a new life in the American west. However, his past catches up with him when an assassin squad comes to take him out. At the same time, the small town where he has settled becomes the target of a bandit who has terrorized the people in the past. Soon, the warrior must teach the townsfolk how to fight back and stand up against oppression.
WHAT I LIKED
I remember seeing this trailer in front of some films and thinking, “What the fuck?” It was such an odd mix of things. I’m not just talking about the genre mash-up of martial arts film and western. We’ve seen that before with movies like “The Good, the Bad and the Weird,” among others. Instead, I’m talking about the weird placement of actors (Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush and resident skinny girl Kate Bosworth) in a CGI western. Add the fact that there was no dialogue in the trailer (a common element of foreign language films), and I had no idea what was going on.
But I was intrigued. And at least for the pure curiosity factor, “The Warrior’s Way” was interesting. It was different, aside from its similarities to the previously mentioned genre mash-up pictures.
I do like an old fashioned western, which doesn’t generally do well with the modern audience. But I though the blending of the types of films were okay.
And then there’s Geoffrey Rush. Sure, his character was a real stereotype stock role, but it’s always fun to watch him on the screen.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
At least for the martial arts angle of this film, it takes itself too seriously. I suppose that’s a problem with many martial arts pictures, the whole honor thing and all. That just didn’t mash quite right with a silly little western.
The special effects looked pretty low-rent. They could be quite elaborate and boastful, but usually too overblown and covered with CGI artifacts. As a bit of cheesy Asian cinema, it works, but they didn’t quite translate into a western mix without looking a bit like a “Jonah Hex” sequel.
Finally, there’s that Kate Bosworth girl. Sure, she’s pretty, but it’s sickly how skinny she is. I mean, she’s practically skeletal with her clothes handing off her like the Tar Man in “Return of the Living Dead.” And she’s not quite good enough of an actor to overcome this.
There was a certain goofy European feel to this film’s western sequences, which made it fit neither in the western genre or the martial arts genre. It felt like a lesser film directed by either Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet, which has a certain warmth but feels a bit empty.
The only special features includes a behind-the-scene montage and some deleted scenes.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the genre mash-up.