Rated R for strong bloody violence.
Starring: Dong-gun Jang, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, Geoffrey Rush
Written and Directed by: Sngmoo Lee
Like many people, I watched the trailer for The Warrior’s Way with general disinterest; nothing about it looked that intriguing or entertaining, and the line “ninjas…DAMN!” made it seem like it was going to be some sort of tongue-in-cheek cheesy action flick. How wrong I was. Not only is it entertaining, but it’s just so damn different that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Okay, maybe love is too strong a word, but it was good. Really good. I know, I’m shocked too!
Dong-gun Jang stars as Yang, an assassin with a ninja clan known as the Sad Flutes (not in a slide whistle kind of way, more of a “the sound the vocal box makes after the throat is slit” way) who is hell-bent on destroying a rival clan. Thanks to Yang, their best asset, they’ve nearly completed their goal and he dispatches the few remaining rival clan members…at least he thinks he does, until he discovers an infant girl. For some reason, the infant strikes a chord with him and instead of killing her, he takes her into his care and leaves the country to avoid retribution by his fellow Sad Flutes, especially their leader, Saddest Flute, played by Lung Ti.
Yang escapes to America, more specifically into a small Texan town with a population made up mostly of circus folk (midgets, clowns, bearded ladies, people of that nature). He catches the eye of Lynne (Kate Bosworth), and the two run a laundry shop together. He teaches her how to throw knives and she teaches him how to have feelings and what not. While it seems like this is a good situation to cozy up in – hot girl, small town, no problems – it turns out that a gang of outlaws headed up by the ridiculously villainous Colonel (Danny Huston) are riding into town to rape and pillage the cute women (i.e. the ones with teeth). Lynne wants revenge on Colonel for killing her family, and Yang has to fight the urge to help her out lest he be found by his former clan. How would that happen? Unsheathing his sword obviously, pfft how could you NOT know that? Eventually, Yang’s conflict with the Sad Flutes and Lynne and the town’s feud with Colonel and his gang all come to a head. Bullets fly. People die. CGI blood and green screened ninjas. You know the drill.
Read the rest of the review at The Film Stage!