The Warrior’s Way (2010)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Warrior’s Way</strong> (2010)

(On-demand Video, April 2012) Where have all of the stylish martial-arts movies gone?  Watching the hit-and-miss The Warrior’s Way, the first thought coming to mind is that I used to see a whole lot more of those films ten years ago than today.  Am I simply not looking in the wrong places? Are these movies still being made?  From its first highly stylized shots, The Warrior’s Way creates its own sense of reality and dares viewers to keep up.  Beautifully-colored skies, sweeping camera action shots, stoic heroes and a blend of Asian sensibilities in a Western setting (with a bit of circus as color) will either frustrate viewers or make them swoon.  The script seldom deals in subtleties: Our hero is without reproach, his love for the heroine is pure, and all of the antagonists are beyond caricatures of evil.  (Which becomes a problem when the violence is carried just a bit too far for the rest of the film’s intentions.)  I quite liked some sequences, such as a very long-shot sword-fighting sequence, or the crazy attack sequence featuring a half-built Ferris wheel, but the film itself could have been tightened up and concluded more optimistically: The Warrior’s Way is just good enough to remind us of the way martial art movies can be good, while not good enough to completely satisfy those expectations.  Fans of the sub-genre will no doubt appreciate it more than those coming in cold to those conventions.  It is very pretty to look at, though.

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