If it's crap ... We'll tell you
A warrior-assassin is forced to hide in a small carnival town in the American Badlands after refusing to kill an infant.
The Warrior's Way seems to fit into the "love it or hate it category" and while I ultimately fall a little more on the side of the latter, I can understand the justification of the former. Yang (Dong-gun Jang) is the greatest swordsman in the world (after defeating the former greatest swordsman in the world fairly easily) and part of a clan of assassins in an eternal war. But the enemy clan has been almost completely wiped out. That is except for a baby girl, who Yang is supposed to assassinate, but instead he takes the girl under his protection and flees to America with a horde of ninja in pursuit. The plural of ninja is "ninja". He tracks down an old friend to a small carnival town full of clowns and carnies, but his friend has died and so he takes over his old laundry business, befriending the local geeks including the outgoing Lynne (Kate Bosworth.) Now the film does have a certain amount of surreal stylism that reminds me of someone trying to copy Jean-Pierre Jeunet. To me it felt rather uninspired, but you gotta give some points for trying to (at least visually) do something that isn't the norm. Unfortunately, the plot itself is so straightforward that all the clowns and cowboys and stylized environments feel like really nice window dressing on a familiar empty product. Like Frosted Corn Flakes hired MC Escher to do their box design. This box is nice, but the cornflakes are still just cornflakes. Probably aiding the feeling of hollowness is the fact that the film is extremely (and distractingly) dependent on green screen environments, and although the environments are well designed, it's pretty obvious that they're not really there.
If I hadn't liked the action so much, I would've ended with a much lower opinion of this film. Although the fight sequences heavily use CG effects, they still end up (begrudgingly) thrilling. This is the closest you'll ever get to a Ninja Gaiden movie. And when it gets to the point where it's cowboys vs. ninjas you are totally on board. What it lacks in a martial arts foundation, it makes up for in a great camera work and visual flair that is simply hard not to be taken in by.
The movie looks different, but the story is ultimately predictable (and a little boring to me.) The fight sequences are bombastic and fun. I come right in the middle for a film that's love it or hate it for so many, and I can't fault either side for their opinion, but there is enough to enjoy here to give it a chance.
Upcoming requests include Lone Wolf and Cub Series, Beast Cops, Seven Swords, Battle of Wits, Breaking News, Tae Guk GI, and Assembly