Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Warrior's Way (2010)

I debated reviewing this film here. Its a good little film and not a great one. Lately when I've been picking films I've been choosing films that I have a mad passion for one reason or another. Most of the films have been "Oh yea I have to do that film". The thing is that its easy to do the mad passion films. Those are the films that will get talked about and not really get lost. The Warriors Way is not a mad passion film. Its a film that is good for what it is namely curling up on the couch on a Saturday night and just vegging. Its also the sort of film that is going to get lost. Its a film that's doomed to be forgotten and fall into the cracks. It doesn't deserve that. This blog was started to point out films that are in those cracks, so with that in mind I present my review of the genre mashing The Warriors Way.

Kung Fu Spaghetti Western about a warrior from the East sparing the life of a baby of an opposing clan and fleeing to the American West with the baby in tow.

Its a form over content film that mixes genres and styles into something that is going to be loved by some and hated by others then again depending upon mood ones attitude may change.

The visual style is very much a manga infused style that comes from doing the film on blue/ green screen backgrounds. Everything is real, yet hyper-stylized. We are dealing with archetypes and characters and not really real people which is fine. Arguing against the film because it isn't realistic is kind of missing the point, this is the cinematic equivalent of a boo hiss vaudeville show.

The film riffs and borrows from dozens of films both from the east and west. From Lone Wolf and Cub, to Django, to 300 to Casshern to Immortel to well take your pick.

I like it but I don't love it. Part of the reason it didn't really work for me is Kate Bosworth who gives too mannered a performance at times. She's clearly trying but if she hadn't tried so hard it would have been better.

The other problem with the film is that the form over content makes the plot kind of optional at times. The final half hour of the film is a two part battle first between the towns folk and cowboys and then between the cowboys and ninjas. Its great fun but at the same time I kind of wished there was more meat to the story so that I cared about more than the leads. (I will give the film points for not making the ninjas invincible and susceptible to bullets)

I do think it's worth seeing, however I'm kind of torn in that the vistas look good on the big screen but the film isn't really worth paying full movie prices. Worth a look when this hits DVD and cable.

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