Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

The time it takes an Audi R8… my personal car of choice of cars I cannot remotely afford… to go from zero to sixty is about 3.7 seconds. The time it takes the nameless swordsman in director Sngmoon Lee’s bloody ninja epic ‘The Warrior’s Way’ to cut off somebody’s head… is about the same time. Truly… you can’t beat that with a stick.

The credits actually list this guy’s name as ‘Yang’ (Jang Dong Gun) so maybe he does have a name even though I don’t remember anybody actually calling him that in the movie. Anyway, Yang is the best swordsman in all the land, a goal he been perusing his whole life. Now that he’s finally achieved this he is no more happy now than he was when he began this quest as a child so many years ago. Yang has brutally dispatched every single member of the enemy clan, save one, a baby girl. Ninja Protocol requires that the swordsman kill this child but Yang has had enough. So he defies his clan becoming a marked man for the rest of his days, grabs the baby, Lone Wolf and Cub style, and jumps on the first departing boat to the United States to track down a fellow warrior he knew many years ago.

The swordsman lands in some broken down beat-up Podunk town in the old west inhabited only by circus performers, drunks and broken people… his friend long gone from the earth. But what the hell, it seems like a nice place, he makes the acquaintance of one his old friends new friends in Lynn (Kate Bosworth), who puts the spunk in spunky, as he settles down for his new life in his new town with his baby girl.

There are problems though. His old boss (Lung Ti) and his legion of lethal ninja is also on a fast boat to the U.S. to settle the score, but more pressingly in the presence of the Colonel (Danny Huston), a mean man who really doesn’t like circus people and likes to rape little girls. Just so you know the Colonel and Spunky Lynn have a bit of a history. Lynn would like very much to kill the Colonel for personal crimes he’s committed against her. The Colonel thinks he’s already killed Lynn for personal crimes she’s committed against him. This will all be resolved in due time.

The swordsman would like very much to kill the Colonel and his legion of evil troops but if he cracks open that sword… Oh well, it is his nature. There are murderous cowboys with Gatling guns in front, brutal ninjas to the left, right, rear and above and in the middle are some circus performers, a drunk sharpshooter (Geoffrey Rush), a spunky young woman with a bullet hole in her back and the greatest swordsman who ever walked the planet earth. Those odds are so unfair I can’t even begin to tell you.

My friends, every once in a while you see a movie that for the most part is average… I mean as a ninja movie ‘The Warrior’s Way’ doesn’t do much of anything that any ninja movie hasn’t done before it many times over… but you watch this movie and the cast in this movie seems to be having such a good time that you don’t have much of a choice but to have a good time right along with them. Such is the case with ‘The Warrior’s Way’. What this movie might lack in originality it makes up for with energy, mayhem and over the top performances. For instance Danny Huston’s character of the Colonel was soooo bad and over the top with his badness that if he were any less bad then we would’ve had to take his character seriously and as such he would’ve been absolutely no fun. You try making a baby raping, patricidal, matricidal, homicidal maniac a fun character. But Danny Huston pulled it off. A character can’t get any spunkier than Kate Bosworth’s Lynn, drunker than Geoffrey Rush’s character of Ron the sharpshooter, midgeter than Tony Cox’s character of 8-ball the ring master, any more masterly than Lung Ti’s depressed master or any more pale riderish than Jang Dong Gun’s silent swordsman. Truth be told Jang Dong Gun’s didn’t do much in this movie except look cool and profile a lot, and one would think if you have one of South Korea’s biggest stars in the lead you might have him do just a little more but he did what little he had to do very well. And why do ninja’s profile so much after slicing somebody anyway? If they profiled less and hacked more then possibly more of them would’ve survived this movie.

Admittedly the middle of the movie sagged somewhat as our filmmakers attempted to lay out some kind of story to bracket the bloodletting, but considering we were watching a swordsman that didn’t speak, a baby that could only coo and a romance with a spunky chick that we all know will never be despite all the semi-erotic sword foreplay they were engaging in, it was all becoming a bit tiresome after a while. But I guess you just can’t have 100 straight minutes of blood, bullets, beheadings and chicken grease. I guess.

‘The Warrior’s Way’ might not have a lot of substance to it, but we can be pretty shallow over here at times so it worked for us. It looked great, was cartoonishly violent and topped all that off by being mighty entertaining in the process. Can’t be too mad about that.

Real Time Web