I went into the theater with low expectations as I’m particularly tired of watching yet ‘another’ silly martial arts flick with the usual wire suspension fighting scenes, long winded tiger-cat-monkey-bear claw style fighting-talking scenes, over the top computer graphics with swirling dragonballs, dragons and phoenixs flying about, porcelain skin actresses shedding crocodile tears and hong kong/japanese/korean teen idol heartthrobs playing macho scenes with orange, blue, red dyed hedgehog hairstyles. Phew. As you can probably tell, I am pretty jaded.
If the above paragraph didn’t already put you off the movie, then surprise, surprise, The Warrior’s Way might just manage to keep you entertained, like I was! In fact, if they kept the movie name, as the original director’s version, ‘Laundry Warrior’ then I might have skipped the movie entirely thinking it would be one of those generic hong kong slapstick movies.
Even 10 minutes into the movie, I wasn’t sure about whether I was going to like it or scoff at it. The computer game-like opening scenes and ‘titles’ made me want to go, “Oh No! a street-fighter movie!”. However, as the movie unfolded, I was drawn in. The plot itself isn’t any different from your usual martial arts genre. But what I did like was that it wasn’t a martial arts movie. It was in fact, an oriental flavored, country and western. It was a Kimchi Western – part cowboy and part swordsman clichés. There have been several other Asian country western flicks in the past. A lot of them were made by the Hong Kong film industry but, as much as I enjoyed watching them as a young kid, most of them were a little too silly in their performances to honor a worthy mention here.
THE PLOT: The Warrior’s Way has an eastern warrior making a choice to save a desolated town and a woman (but of course!) from marauders or saving himself and the child under his care from his honor-avenging clan. As with any other movie, everything comes together in the end and we just have to watch it unfold. There’s some great action scenes with some classic moments. The fighting and killing is swift unlike the chinese films.
The world’s greatest swordsman abandons his warrior clan to start a new life in the American Badlands. The show is about visually dazzling modern martial arts adventure with stunningly choreographed fight sequences and gravity-defying stunts. In an original, gorgeously realized journey into a mythical past, writer and director Sng moo Lee seamlessly marries the cinematic traditions of East and West. Korean superstar Jang Dong Gun, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston and Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush star in this epic story of revenge and redemption.
TRIVIA: IMDB lists the first time director as Sng Moo Lee but in some web corners, he is listed as Lee Seung Moo. I believe its the latter as ‘Sng’ has the same pronunciation of ‘Seung’. Although an unknown director but together with the help of a great production team and a decent cast line-up plus a healthy financial budget, he has certainly made an oriental country western action movie into one that truly kicks ass.
Cumi & Ciki’s Verdict: You’ll be hard pressed to find a film as enormously entertaining, and legitimately daft, as The Warrior’s Way. The Warrior’s Way somehow manages to find just the right balance of ludicrous and fantastic, with it’s tongue firmly planted in it’s cheek but never letting you know that it’s in on the joke. Very amusing indeed!
Thank you to Nusantara Edaran Filem Sdn Bhd for the invite to preview this show that started screening at all GSC’s as of the 3rd of December. All photos courtesy of Nusantara Edaran Filem.