Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Rating: 7 Throwing Knives
After refusing a final mission of execution, a Ninja Assassin takes refuge in the American Badlands among friends and allies.
The idea of a Ninja, or at least a Japanese Bushi (Warrior) among cowboys, American outlaws and circus performers, is a little far fetched. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just, unlikely. And there is the inescapable fact that, well, the lead actor Dong-Gun Jang, is Korean. And hey, I’m all for diversity, but it kind of doesn’t help. I kept expecting to find out that this film was actually made or at least produced by Quentin Tarantino, it seems right up his alley – bad one-liners, expansive CGI and constant fight scenes, and an incongruously unlikely story that Tarantino would insist on playing out to the bitter end anyway.
So the warrior Yang, serving his clan faithfully as Assassin for many years, actually balks at the idea when his Master tells him he has to kill the last remaining member of their enemy clan they just defeated – which happens to be a female infant. Now I know American audiences would cringe at the idea, but, in certain traditional Asian cultures, that would happen without a moments hesitation. In this case, Yang refuses the order, steals the baby, and takes off to the American Badlands, where he makes friends and is eventually pursued by his clan for a final showdown. And of course, the town in the Badlands has it’s own set of bad guy nasties that Yang helps defend against, right after that big ole confrontation is when Yang’s own enemies show up.
Can’t say as I’ve seen lead actor Don-Gun Jang in anything else, but he has been in a lot of movies at this point, they just happen to be foreign. Kate Bosworth of Superman Returns fame stars as knife-wielding love interest Lynne. Geoffrey Rush is the former sharpshooter turned circus drunk Ron, he actually helps the limping storyline a little, I wish they had gone more into his backstory. The love scenes are actually fairly good, and if you can wrap your mind around the CGI and wire-fu fighting, it’s not bad either. The Warrior’s Way gets a rating of 7 Throwing Knives!