The Warrior’s Way

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Rating: R

Starring:
Dong-gun Jang as Yang
Kate Bosworth as Lynne
Geoffrey Rush as Ron
Danny Huston as Colonel
Tony Cox as Eight-Ball
Lung Ti as Saddest Flute
Analin Rudd as Baby April
Markus Hamilton as Baptiste
Rod Lousich as Craig
Matt Gillanders as Geyser
Christina Asher as Esmerelda
Jed Brophy as Jacques
Carl Bland as Billy
Ian Harcourt as Lofty
Tony Wyeth as Smithy

Directed by Sngmoo Lee

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes
Behind The Scenes Montage

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.40:1)
DTS-HD MA 5.1 Sound
French Language
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 100 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Academy Award Winner Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, and International sensation Jang Dong Gun star in this boldly original film that blends intense martial arts action with a dazzling visual style. After a lifetime of training in swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat, the world’s most dangerous fighter (Jang) flees his homeland to start a new life in the American West. But soon the hunter becomes the hunted, and now the legendary warrior must wage a fierce, all-out battle against a renegade gang of outlaws and a pack of murderous assassins from his own past.”

“The Warrior’s Way” is R for strong bloody violence.

Mini-Review:
You could call this movie “Cowboys vs. Ninjas” and it would be pretty accurate. It’s an interesting mash-up of the Western and martial arts genres. It’s kind of a combination of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, the TV show “Kung Fu,” and any number of Westerns with a heavy fairy tale / legend influence. The end result is an entertaining popcorn flick that should satisfy action fans.

Visually this is a beautiful film. It’s very CG and green screen heavy, but it is pretty. Whether you’re seeing the Asian backdrops or the stereotypical Western town (with an inexplicable carnival or circus at one end), every frame of the movie is quite artistic. And when the Asian warriors go flying through the air to attack cowboys in the town, it looks like it all flew straight out of a comic book. (Frankly I’m surprised this isn’t based on a comic book.)

Jang Dong Gun is kind of dull as Yang. Maybe it’s partly because he’s performing in a second language. Maybe it’s because he’s playing a character with a haunted past. But unless he’s killing someone, he’s pretty lifeless. Kate Bosworth is more entertaining as Lynne. She’s a bit over the top with the Southern accent and the spirited character, but it’s one of her more unique roles. Fans of Bosworth will want to check it out. Then there’s Geoffrey Rush as Ron. His fake Southern accent is a little much, but he’s fun to watch as the stereotypical fallen gunslinger.

The action is entertaining, but the sword fights lack something. Yang is called the world’s greatest swordsman, but his swordfights are rather brief. They typically consist of striking a cool pose, doing one quick slash, then striking another cool pose as his opponent dies. There’s very little choreography to it. I suppose if you were the world’s greatest swordsman the fights would be really short, but it doesn’t make it as entertaining. More impressive is a knife fight / dance number between Yang and Lynne. It’s unlike any fight scene in recent memory.

If you’re a fan of “300″ or martial arts films or genre mash-ups, then you’ll enjoy “The Warrior’s Way.” It has that mix of fantasy and over-the-top action in a surreal world. It’s not going to win any awards, but it is worth checking out.

You’ll find very few bonus features on the DVD. There are a few deleted scenes and a short behind-the -scenes featurette.

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