Review: The Warrior’s Way DVD

The Warrior's Way DVD boxSTUDIO: Fox | DIRECTOR: Sngmoo Lee | CAST: Dong-Gun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston, Tony Cox
RELEASE DATE:
6/28/11 | PRICE: Blu-ray $39.95, DVD $29.99
BONUSES:
behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes
SPECS:
R | 100 min. | Action Western | 2.40:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

The Warrior's Way movie scene

Martial arts mayhem with a Western flair ensures in The Warrior's Way.

Although it didn’t catch on at the box-office thanks in part to an unceremonious dumping by its distributor, The Warrior’s Way has definite cult film potential.

An entertaining mash-up that mixes martial arts action and swordplay, western conventions and oddball casting, all captured by colorful, deliberately artificial-looking state-of-the-art filming techniques, the movie is a real curio that will find favor with genre fans.

Set in the mid 1800s, The Warrior’s Way stars Korea’s Dong-Gun Jang as Yang, a member of a sword-wielding gang who saves an infant girl from rival ass-kickers and hightails it to a western town in America called Lode. There, Yang runs a laundry shop, gets cozy with pretty local lady Lynne (Kate Bosworth, Blue Crush) and befriends the circus folk who live there. But danger arrives in the form of the Colonel (Danny Huston, Robin Hood), a disfigured military man responsible for the death of Lynne’s family. And then Yang’s revenge-seeking former gang associates make their way to town…

Filmed in Australia with a look that echoes a graphic novel (although it was not based on one), The Warrior’s Way plays like a lost installment of the Zatoichi series with a plotline that resembles Once Upon a Time in the West and a Frank Miller-ish look that will remind audiences of the rugged gladiator film 300.

Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) and Tony Cox (Bad Santa) add to the unusual cast assembled here by first time helmer/writer Sngmoo Lee. This is a case where style is definitely favored over substance. And it’s that florid, over-the-top style that makes The Warrior’s Way frenzied and exciting in a refreshingly, er, artificial kind of way.

The list of bonus features on the DVD is surprisingly thin and includes a brief behind-the-scenes montage that reveals the players doing their thing in front of a green screen and a collection of 13 deleted scenes.

 

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.