The Warrior’s Way, written and directed by Sngmoo Lee, is a mixture of a Chinese fantasy, Seven Samurai, a western, an action film and a cartoon. It’s an odd film that doesn’t always work so well. It blends a number of genres in an ambitious attempt to feel unique and different. While I admire Lee’s vision and what he was trying to do, I think he bit off more than he can chew and the end result is a haphazard mess that aside from a few cool fight scenes, doesn’t offer a whole lot.
We open with Yang (played by Dong-gun Jang), a ninja assassin who has managed to slay nearly everyone in his rival clan. When he is ordered to kill a baby from the clan, he refuses. Instead, he rescues the baby and flees to a western-cowboy town where another member of his clan has escaped and runs his own laundry business.
He arrives at the small troubled town of circus performers to find his friend dead and the town in need of another human washing machine. Yang, figuring this is the best place to hide out, takes shelter, hides his weapons and tries to live and learn a normal life.
While there, he settles into his new life and meets Lynne (Kate Bosworth), a beautiful woman who was orphaned as a child by a vicious man named the Colonel (Danny Huston). Ever since he killed her parents, Lynne has been plotting her revenge. Yang also crosses paths with Ron (Geoffrey Rush), the town drunk.
As the warrior settles into his seemingly normal life, he soon starts to realize that his past will quickly return to haunt him. His old clan his zeroing in on him and they want him dead. That’s not all though, the Colonel and his gang are threatening the town and the helpless citizens look up to Yang to save them. With two separate sets of enemies heading for his new home, Yang is forced to pull out the sword again and protect the townspeople not only from the Colonel and his gang, but also from his old clan.
Lee’s visuals get a proper Blu-Ray treatment as FOX provides an excellent transfer. The vivid imagery is only enhanced in high def and most of the impressive action scenes look quite stunning. It’s a highly stylized film and it comes off really well on Blu-Ray. Detail is excellent overall and skin tones come off as natural and lifelike. The only thing that’s weak is the settings and backdrops. The green screens powering them look mighty phony and clarity isn’t always that strong.
The audio track is quite immersive, especially during battle scenes in which strong bass shakes the room. Dialogue is never a problem and sound effects are placed appropriately. Nothing here is demo worthy but it’s a fairly strong and energetic track that carries the film well.
Thirteen deleted scenes and a very brief behind the scenes feature make up the extras. I’ll save you the time now, skip them. Not worth watching.
The Warrior’s Way took a novel premise and ran in the opposite direction with it. It’s just a very mediocre film that is completely forgettable. Tepid acting and misguided directing are mostly to fault but the all over the place script and god awful green screen are also guilty. The film does look good on Blu-Ray but there’s just not much of a reason to pick it up. A couple exciting fight scenes and the pleasing visual effects may entice some viewers but overall, it’s just not worth your money.
The Warrior's Way is an odd film that doesn’t always work so well. The end result is a haphazard mess that doesn’t offer a whole lot.