Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Warrior's Way

This is one movie you most likely haven't seen and have probably never heard of. I had no idea what to expect other than the preview trailer featured a striking visual style and the promise of an action-packed story. Somehow this movie turned out to be so much more than I had expected it to be.

Yes, the visual style is very striking as it is equal parts Crouching Tiger, 300, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, and Mad Max all rolled together and painted with bold colors that jump off the screen. The action is intense and exciting without going too far beyond the hyper reality that this story is wrapped in to.

South Korean actor Jang Dong Jun plays the title character of Yang who, in a stunning and oddly humorous sequence that sets the tone of the movie perfectly, becomes the greatest swordsman in the world. Unfortunately an unexpected turn of events forces him to flee across the ocean to the United States in search of an old friend so that he may find peace and a home for himself and his new companion.

This new companion is a small child that he was supposed to kill because she is the last surviving member of the rival clan he and his own clan had been at war with for many years. Now his own people are hunting him and the child down so they can finish what he was unable to do.

This ultimately leads to a wild-west showdown between Yang and his former master, but before that comes to pass there is romance, comedy, and action all set within a very stylized old western setting which provides some of the films most breathtaking visuals.

Here we meet characters like the exuberant Lynne played by Kate Bosworth, old time drunkard and expert marksman Ron brought to life by Geoffrey Rush, and the villainous man known as the Colonel could only have been played by Danny Huston in a role you could tell he truly enjoyed bringing to life.

There are definite reasons why the major movie studios were unable to figure out how to latch on to and market a movie like this and those same reasons are why I found this movie to be so brilliant and entertaining. You have probably gathered that it is not a conventional story that can easily be packaged and sold, but if you take the time to sit back and prepare yourself to get lost in the storytelling of a cinematic piece of art, you will not be disappointed.

A film like this is exactly what I love about going to the movies.

CLICK HERE to see my other favorite movies from 2010!

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