Peaceful Warrior

Even though this syrupy self-help film hit theaters in June 2006 and grossed a meager $1 million, it unfortunately is back in theaters to dispense more over-the-top Zen teachings. In this movie based on the 1980 semi-autobiographical novel by Dan Millan, Scott Mechlowicz plays a young man who is determined to become the next Paul Hamm. However, his ego and frequent night terrors get in the way. That is, until the aspiring Olympic gymnast takes a late-night run and meets a Mr. Miyagi/Dr. Phil hybrid at a gas station. Instantly intrigued by this mysterious attendant named Socrates who can defy gravity and spew schmaltzy internal-strength philosophies, the young gymnast becomes his naïve apprentice. Even when Millan gets into a major motorcycle accident that shatters his leg, ends his gymnastics career and triggers suicidal thoughts, the heavy-handed words of wisdom pound out his every preconceived notion and replace them with inner harmony. For sappy Tao-talking enthusiasts, this film adaptation by director Victor Salva is for you.

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