It's the holiday season, and that usually means movie studios are throwing their best films at us in an effort to be considered for year-end accolades.
Knowing this, it is more than surprising that somebody decided to splatter the cinematic crap that is The Warrior's Way onto a bunch of screens at this time of year.
I can't believe somebody with a lot of money thought that people would want to see this mess. I also can't believe that Geoffrey Rush and the once-promising Kate Bosworth actually show their faces in this one. (It seems the world will never forgive Bosworth for her boring portrayal of Lois Lane in Superman Returns.)
How can I describe The Warrior's Way? Well, picture a fake Old West town created in a studio with lackluster special effects. Inhabit this depressed town with sad circus performers who get visited by a samurai warrior from the East (Dong-gun Jang) escaping a clan war—with a baby in tow.
The samurai is being chased by a bunch of mystical ninjas who will eventually show up and wreak havoc. The Old West town has gotten depressed because the people there are being bullied by a band of cowboys and ex-military types, led by the Colonel (Danny Huston ... an actor I just can't stand most of the time), a sleazy Phantom of the Opera wannabe.
The Colonel wears a mask, because Bosworth's character, Lynne, burned him with frying potatoes when he tried to rape her as a child. He put a bullet in her back, but that was not enough to stop her, and her character survives to act very poorly in this movie, feigning enthusiasm with an annoying Old West accent. Here, Bosworth makes a losing attempt to be an action star, coming off as somebody who should stick to romantic comedies. (She totally rocked in Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!)
Rush embarrasses himself as the town drunk who, not surprisingly, has a steady hand when it comes to firing a rifle. His sloshed Ron is an example of one of the worst types of cinematic caricatures: "comic relief" through alcoholism. This sort of drunk went out with Dudley Moore in the first Arthur.
As for Jang, he's one of those movie protagonists who says very little and does everything—except sword-fighting—super-slowly. He's this year's pick for Most Boring Onscreen Character, slightly edging out Julia Roberts in Eat Pray Love.
Actually, on second thought, Julia still gets the Most Boring award, but it's a close call.
The film is full of video-game action, with Yang often fighting opponents who totally suck and offer nothing in the way of a challenge. The character of Yang is touted as the world's greatest swordsman, but all he really has to do is swing away, and his opponents are soundly defeated. There is not one combat scene in this movie that has anything resembling tension.
As for the town inhabitants getting attacked by evil cowboys and ninjas, it's hard to root for them, especially after they dress up in their creepy circus outfits. Seriously: These sad clowns do nothing but frighten children, and I often found myself rooting for the wrong side during battles. All of the clowns look like they have an assortment of young males buried in their basements, à la John Wayne Gacy.
If you thought Westerns, samurai adventures and circus clowns might make for an interesting mix, you'll be disappointed in The Warrior's Way. It's as foul as the fake belches let out by Rush's town drunk.