The Warrior's Way Movie Review
First there were spaghetti westerns, but the new trend is rice westerns, a violent blend of Old West and Far West. The latest incarnation is The Warrior's Way, a slick but mindless action tale about a great swordsman who travels to America to find peace - but only finds more bad guys to slay. From first-time writer/director Sngmoo Lee, The Warrior's Way is entertaining but sadly hollow.
South Korean actor Dong-gun Jang leads the way, cutting through a cast that includes Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston and Tony Cox. While Jang is understandably looking to break into American markets, it's unclear what bet the rest of the recognizable cast lost to agree to star in the movie.
For fans of stylized martial arts movies, The Warrior's Way has enough surreal action and CGI blood to satisfy. Dozens die by sword, knife and gunfight, generally in large, sweeping action scenes including a full-out assault on a town by a legion of angry cowboys. The action is just stimulating enough to hold one's attention.
But where there's style there isn't much substance, and the style isn't that good to begin with. The action is fun but lacks suspense; the so-so special effects only serve to highlight the lack of real stunts, and it's hard to become immersed in the action when nothing looks real and the lead character is nearly untouchable.
The acting is generally poor; Huston makes for an unlikable bad guy, but he's played the same character in so many movies now it's getting old. Geoffrey Rush's involvement - as a drunk - is minimal and likely was paid to actually get drunk on set. I consider Kate Bosworth an underrated actress but she's terrible, and terribly out of place, in The Warrior's Way. Jang doesn't act as much as he does fight, so it's hard to judge what he brings to the table.
The Warrior's Way has enough mindless, crazy and over-the-top violence, but for those who want even just a little more, it simply can't deliver.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.