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The Warrior's Way
BLU-RAY disk
07.11.2011 By: Chris Bumbray
The Warrior's Way order download
Director:
Sngmoo Lee

Actors:
Dong-gun Jang
Kate Bosworth
Danny Huston
Ti Lung
Geoffrey Rush

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An infamous warrior-assassin, Yang (Dong-gun Jang) defies his clan, and refuses to kill the last descendant of a rival clan- who happens to be a newborn child. With the baby in tow, Yang flees to the American West, where he opens up a laundry, and meets a gang of colourful circus performers, including a beautiful knife thrower (Kate Bosworth), whose family was slaughtered by a hideous scarred rogue colonel (Danny Huston).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
THE WARRIOR’S WAY is a wanna-be martial-arts epic that, despite a relatively high profile cast including Bosworth, Huston, and the great Geoffrey Rush, sat on the shelf for a few years before being acquired by Relativity Media, who gave it a surprisingly high profile release last December. Not surprisingly, the film bombed, and now it hits DVD and Blu-Ray, which is really where the film belongs.

As it is, THE WARRIOR’S WAY is not a particularly awful film. Director Sngmoo Lee certainly does not lack ambition, with this obviously intended as a sort of homage to LONE WOLF & BABY CART, crossed with animé, by way of Sergio Leone. Sadly, Lee, while not entirely unskilled behind the camera (I like the overall look of the film, but the editing is poor) is not quite up to the task. In many ways, this reminded me of another western-martial arts mash-up, BUNRAKU (which, despite screening at TIFF a year ago, still hasn’t gotten a release), but, not quite as imaginative.

THE WARRIOR’S WAY suffers from the same problem NINJA ASSASSIN did, in that the CGI-aided fight scenes are too stylized, and lack any obvious skill on behalf of the combatants. Leading man Dong-gun Jang is a huge star in South Korea (he was particularly good in TAE GUK GI- THE BROTHERHOOD OF WAR), but like Rain in NINJA ASSASSIN, suffers from the fact that’s he’s NOT a particularly skilled martial artist. Someone like Donnie Yen (who also happens to be more fluent in English than Jang- who’s mostly silent throughout) could have given the film the truly exceptional fight sequences it lacks, which- let’s face it, are the only reason someone watches these movies in the first place.

The supporting cast is a mixed. Bosworth is cute as heck, but she’s more than a little grating as the marginal love interest, and like Jang, not particularly sharp in the martial arts department. Danny Huston chews some scenery as one of the villains, and seems to relish his thoroughly evil role, although it pales compared to his similar role in the brilliant THE PROPOSITION. A pay check-seeking Geoffrey Rush pops up in a smallish role as the town drunk, who also happens to be an infamous sharp-shooter, and as always, he gives the role his all. While he’s on-screen, it’s fun. Shaw Bros., and John Woo-veteran Ti Lung shows up as the head of Jang’s evil clan, but he’s not given much to do, and is poorly dubbed in English (I have no idea why they just didn’t have him speak his native tongue).
THE EXTRAS
Not much here, other than some deleted scenes, and a behind the scenes montage .
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Still, I didn’t altogether hate THE WARRIOR’S WAY, as it kept me reasonably entertained, and this would probably be an OK rainy-day view on Netflix if you’re badly in need of an action fix, and have run out of Donnie Yen movies.
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9:19AM on 07/11/2011
Review is pretty on target. An amusing flick, to a degree but, nothing great.
Review is pretty on target. An amusing flick, to a degree but, nothing great.
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