From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Warrior's Way - D

Rated R for strong bloody violence, 100 minutes

Ridiculous, silly "Warrior's Way"

Within the first few minutes of the new kung-fu action "The Warrior's Way" the 'greatest swordsmen ever' is brought down, a baby is rescued, ninjas are killed in a bamboo forest and the main character ends up in an Old West town. This has the makings for a cool movie or quite possibly a disaster and one of the worst things seen on screens this year. A few nifty special-effects and fight scenes aren't near enough to make this the most ridiculous, worst-acted film of the year.

Yang (Korean film star Jang Dong-gun) is a warrior with a mission: to kill the last living member of an enemy clan. The only thing is, the last living member is a cute baby girl who Yang cannot kill, so he leaves his country to go to the American West, where a friend of his supposedly living. His friend is no longer there, but in the town he finds talky black small person (Tony Cox), the town drunk (Geoffrey Rush) and a young girl (Kate Bosworth) who Yang becomes attracted to and helps exact revenge on the man (Danny Huston) who killed her family years earlier.

"The Warrior's Way" is preposterously bad action-adventure flick that tries (very badly) to combine a Sergio Leone spaghetti-western with Korean kung-fu. Much like combining Italian food with Korean food, this is an absolute mess. It takes itself far too seriously to work even moderately well, and while the fight scenes and a few special-effects are decent, everything else about it is just plain terrible, from the acting, the story, to the fake sets, all of which make it look like a cheap soundstage. It all comes together in a way-over-the-top, stupid finale that makes little sense for even something like this.

Korean film director and screenwriter Sngmoo Lee and Korean action-star Jang Dong-gun are largely responsible for this mess, which was shot in early 2008 but has been sitting on the shelf for nearly 3 years. It certainly won't help the careers of anyone else involved, including Rush (whose awful, unnecessary narration is heard throughout the film), the once-it girl Bosworth in what could likely be a career-killer; her performance is the film's worst - even Dong-gun has the wisdom to keep his mouth shut most of the time - to Huston, who chews on scenery in his brief role as the slimeball villain.

This disaster is credited with being co-produced by one of "The Lord of the Rings" producers, Barrie M. Osborne, but he may not want much to do with "The Warrior's Way" after most people see how bad it is. This could be one of those "so-bad-it's good" cult-classics in years to come, but for now I'd take the high road away from "The Warrior's Way."