The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THE WARRIOR’S WAY (2010) ***

Yang (Jang Dong-Gun) is this Ninja who is ordered to wipe out his enemy clan.  He does so in record time, leaving only a baby girl alive.  His Ninja Master orders him to kill the kid too and he says “Fuck that noise” and wipes out a bunch of his own clan that are sent to kill him.  Yang then leaves China for the Wild West so he can disappear and lie low.  There, he is welcomed with open arms by the citizens of a ramshackle ghost town where he takes over his old friend’s Laundromat.  (Yeah, just because he’s Asian he only has two prospective occupations:  Ninja or Laundromat owner.) 


Anyway, some cowboy ruffians led by Danny Huston come to town and try to have their way with Kate Bosworth.  Yang says “No way Jose” and cuts those cowboys to ribbons.  When his clan “hears the tears of his victims” (don’t ask), they immediately head to the ghost town to kill him.  Naturally, they show up just when Huston’s men ride back into town and you know what that means…




The Warrior’s Way is the greatest Cowboys vs. Ninjas movie of the year.  As much as I dig the concept of Ninjas duking it out with Cowboys, I think it stops short of being the definitive Cowboys vs. Ninjas movie.  The problem is that the Cowboys vs. Ninjas stuff is mostly weighted towards the last half hour of the film.  Despite a rather cool prologue (that features echoes of Shogun Assassin), things bog down severely once the Ninja gets to the Wild West.  This chunk of the flick is rather dull and there are way too many scenes of the Ninja getting to know the townsfolk.  I will say that when we finally do get to the Cowboys vs. Ninjas stuff, it is fucking awesome.


I guess it’s to be expected that this movie is flawed.  I mean this is the first Cowboys vs. Ninjas movie that I know of, so they obviously didn’t quite work out all the bugs.  (Red Sun had cowboys vs. samurais and Shanghai Noon had cowboys vs. Chinese palace guards; but not Ninjas.) 


Remember in the 70’s when American distributors would get a hold of a Chinese Kung Fu movie and they’d re-dub it, re-edit it, and give it a flashy new title?  That’s exactly what I would’ve done if I was the producer of The Warrior’s Way.  First, well… I wouldn’t have to do any re-dubbing because it’s already in English.  Second, I’d cut out about 30 minutes of that getting to know you shit in the middle so we had ten minutes of pure Ninja stuff in the beginning, 30 minutes of pure cowboy stuff in the middle, and 30 minutes of kick ass Cowboy vs. Ninja stuff in the end.  And finally, I’d lose that shitty title and just call it… Cowboys vs. Ninjas. 


My version:  Four Stars.  This version:  Three Stars.


AKA:  The Warrior.

Tags: action, kung fu, w, western
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