Wild, wild worst
The Warrior’s Way
It’s the holiday season, and that usually means movie studios releasing their best films to be considered for year-end accolades. Knowing this, it’s more than surprising that somebody decided to splatter the cinematic spunk that is The Warrior’s Way onto a bunch of screens during this season.
I really can’t believe somebody with a lot of money thought that people would want to see this mess. I also can’t believe that the likes of Geoffrey Rush and the once promising Kate Bosworth—it seems the world will never forgive her for her boring portrayal of Lois Lane in Superman Returns—actually show their faces in this one.
How to describe it? Well, picture a fake Old West town created in a studio with lackluster special effects backgrounds. Inhabit this depressed town with sad circus performers who get visited by a samurai warrior from the east (Dong-gun Jang) who is escaping a clan war with a baby in tow.
The samurai is being chased by a bunch of mystical ninjas who will eventually show up and wreak havoc. The depressed Old West town has gotten that way due to being bullied by a band of cowboys and ex-military types, led by the Colonel (Danny Huston, an actor I just can’t stand most of the time), a sleazy Phantom of the Opera wannabe.
The Colonel wears a mask because Bosworth’s character, Lynne, burned him with frying potatoes when he tried to rape her as a child. He put a bullet in her back, but that’s not enough to stop her. Her character survives to act very poorly in this movie, feigning enthusiasm with an annoying Old West accent. Bosworth makes a losing attempt to be an action star, coming off as somebody who should just stick to romantic comedies. (She totally rocked in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!)
Rush embarrasses himself as the town drunk who, not surprisingly, has a steady hand when it comes to firing a rifle. His sloshed Ron is the worst of cinematic caricatures, a sad attempt at comic relief through annoying alcoholism. This sort of drunk went out with Dudley Moore in the first Arthur.
As for Jang, he’s one of those movie protagonists who says very little and does everything, except sword fighting, super-slow. He’s this year’s pick for most boring screen character, slightly edging out Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love. Actually, on second thought, Julia still gets the most boring award, but it’s a close call.
The film is full of videogame action, with Yang often fighting opponents who totally suck and offer nothing in the way of challenge. The character of Yang is touted as the world’s greatest swordsman, but all he really has to do is swing away, and his opponents are soundly defeated. There is not one combat scene in this movie that has anything resembling tension.
As for the town inhabitants getting attacked by evil cowboys and darkly clad ninjas, it’s hard to root for them, especially after they dress up in their creepy circus outfits. Seriously, these sad clowns do nothing but frighten children, and I often found myself rooting for the wrong side during battles. I definitely wanted the faceless cowboys to take out the circus players. All of the clowns look like they have an assortment of young boys buried in their basements, a la John Wayne Gacy.
So, for all of you who thought Westerns, samurai adventures and circus clowns might make for an interesting mix, you stand to be very disappointed. The Warrior’s Way is as foul as the fake belches let out by Rush’s town drunk in the movie.