Verdict: ‘The Warrior’s Way’- misses the latent opportunity
Director: Sngmoo Lee;
Actors: Dong-gun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston;
‘300’ started this craze – of special effects-laden film shot entirely indoors, but with extremely stylised look and effects. Many have tried walking the ‘300’ road, with lesser successes than ‘The Warriors Way’. Yet, its flaws overshadow its achievements.
Yang (Dong-gun Jang) is an assassin trained to show no mercy. Yet, when he does show compassion and refuses to kill a baby, many, including his own master, try to kill him. Knowing that he is not safe in his land, he travels with the baby to far off America. Here he lands in a decrepit town populated by oddball characters who have problems of their own. Two negatives do not make a positive in the climax of the film as bandits and ninja assassins rain in on the town.
‘The Warrior’s Way’ is a broody film that is a mash of different genres of films – spaghetti western, kung fu and samurai. Its main plot and subplots are taken from a variety of films in these genre, including many of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns and Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai films.
Yet, despite a few commendable moments and highly stylised special effects, it fails as a film overall. The reason could be an overabundance of cliches from its multiple genres.
It is a lost opportunity as the buildup in a ghost town populated with some bizarre circus characters, foretells of a lively and bizarre action comedy. But the film never manages to pick the gems it lays for itself.
Besides Geoffrey Rush as the drunken madman of the village, and Danny Huston as the villain Colonel, the rest of the cast waltzes through the film without semblance of any acting talent. Yet, considering that it’s the first film from writer director Sngmoo Lee, the film can be seen as a foreshadowing from some wonderful work from this man in the future.