Every few years there comes a film that defies genre trappings and expectations, writer & director Sngmoo Lee’s The Warrior’s Way (2010) is such a film. Not since Six-String Samurai(1998) has there been a film that just couldn’t be categorized. The film follows greatest martial arts Master of the world Yang (Dong-gun Jang) who achieved this honor by killing the previous one. His only goal is to become the greatest but when he achieves this he begins to question what is next. When he refuses to kill the child of his Clan’s enemy (thus ridding the world of all of his Clans mortal enemies) he is deemed a trader and a price is put on his head.
With baby in toe, Yang ventures to America where a friend of his has set up shop in a western town. Upon arriving in the town, Yang realizes that his friend is dead and so is the town which is populated with carnival folk and people who just refuse to move on. With the help of a local Lynne (Kate Bosworth), Yang decides to stay in the town and run his dead friend’s laundry service while trying to lead a normal life away from the eyes of his Clan. He has vowed never to pick up his blades again but when a ruthless bandit seemly called the Colonel (Danny Houston) shows up, Yang must decide whether to continue living his secret life in peace or taking up the blade and risking his Clan finding out where he is. Needless to say, there wouldn’t be a film if we didn’t have carnival folk verses bandits verses martial arts ninjas. This film seems to have thrown it all in.
Unlike Six-String Samurai, The Warrior’s Way is a highly stylized film that utilizes a lot of CGI not only for a lot of the martial arts action but the backgrounds and blood and explosions and everything else. If you like these new age films where everything seems to be a CGI world (i.e. Mirrormask or The Cellor Dragon Wars: D-War) then this film is right up your ally but if you don’t, stay clear. The style of the film may be a tad too much and the humor of the film is very much in the style of Korean film The Host(2006).
The cast does a great job with the material and even though the middle has a few moments that drag on they are few and far in between making way for plenty of martial arts mayhem and gore (and there is a lot of violence in the film especially in the last twenty minutes). Me being a fan of such films as The Expendables, Punisher: War Zone, Rambo, and The A-TeamI highly enjoyed the chaos, mayhem, and out of this world action and if you enjoy these films then The Warrior’s Way is right up your ally.