Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: The Warrior's Way

The Warriors Way is devoted to a samurai (known only as The Warrior) who, in the midst of murdering his clan's enemy clan, changes his mind about killing a baby. Knowing that his clan will hunt him down, he runs away to America, and settles in a town made up of ex-circus performers and tries to live a peaceful life. However soon enough the town is under threat and he has to defend it, first from marauders and then from ninjas. It calls to mind a mash up of Kung Fu, Shogun Assassin, The Good The Bad and the Ugly with just a hint of Shane mixed in and the result is diverting, enjoyable and more than a little silly. And if the movie I just described sounds like it would appeal to you, you should probably go see it, because it doesn't stray too far from that central premise.

Okay on to the technical details. The writing is...eh, pretty terrible, but no more so than a lot of movies of it's ilk. The acting is alright, lead actor Jang Dong-Gun (apparently a big deal in Korea) does little more than glower and not talk, but whatever. Geoffery Rush does rather well with a small role (he's apparently doing smaller roles this year, waiting to appear in his big 'gimme my Oscar' movie with The King's Speech until he gets his giant paycheck for Pirates 4 next year). Kate Bosworth is...eh, she's alright, basically doing just a straight cowgirl. No one besides Tony Cox as the midget leader of the circus makes an impression.

The action scenes are, of course, the lifeblood of a movie like this, and thankfully they're excellent. Oh they're not very original, ripping off The Matrix and Shogun Assassin in equal measure, but they work. The camera work is fine, and while the setup seems to be taylor made to muse on the similarities between the Wild West and Samurai-era Japan (when is this supposed to take place?), it never really comes up.

If there's a letdown, it's in the editing and directing department. The tone is all over the map, there are some odd directorial choices here and there that get dropped as soon as the crop up and it very clearly works better in pieces than it does as a whole. And since it's an over the top 2010 action movie, it would be remiss of me to not compare it to Machete which is starting to get unfair to over the top 2010 action movies, because NONE of them are going to be better than Machete. And this one is no exception: It's not as good as Machete.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I, as a critic, am supposed to say about this movie. If you saw one trailer for it, you know what to expect from it and if it looked like it appealed to you, you should go see it. If you're on the fence...yeah, go see it. If it didn't look like your thing, it's not. Some movies are more or less than their trailer shows you, but this trailer is entirely honest about itself. The only thing I can say about it is that it's another attempt at reviving the Asian style samurai-action movie, and in this it's more successful than last years Ninja Assassin. So I guess this review is shorter than usual. See you next time

Elessar is a 20 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he would like the thank his roommate for this movies nickname: Lone Wolf and Cowgirl

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