Rashid Irani's review: The Warrior's Way
It's smart, sassy and gleefully excessive. East-meets-West in this mélange of martial-arts adventures and Westerns flicks. First-time Korean writer-director Sngmoo Lee narrates a familiar yarn with visual panache and tongue firmly in cheek.india Updated: Dec 11, 2010 00:36 IST
The Warrior's Way
Direction: Sngmoo Lee
Cast: Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth
It's smart, sassy and gleefully excessive. East-meets-West in this mélange of martial-arts adventures and Westerns flicks. First-time Korean writer-director Sngmoo Lee narrates a familiar yarn with visual panache and tongue firmly in cheek.
Jang Dong-gun portrays a skilled swordsman from a fearsome band of warriors named Sad Flutes. When he refuses to kill an infant belonging to a rival clan, he's singled out for assassination by his own tribe. Concerned for the baby girl's safety (shades of the Japanese cult classic, Fight, Zatoichi, Fight!), he flees to a frontier town in the American West.
There, with the help of a group of out-of-work circus folk including a wannabe knife-thrower (Bosworth, delightfully campy), our hero reverts to the ways of a non-warrior. But his past soon catches up, forcing him to unsheathe his sword again.
Painted backdrops and stylised production design, the film builds to a mind-blowing climactic showdown. The gravity-defying stunts are brilliantly choreographed. The between the swordsman and the knife-thrower is depicted with exquisite delicacy. The outcome is a dazzler. Danny Huston as the disfigured villain and Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush in the role of the town's resident drunk-cum-crack shooter are skillful.
Moreover, the film features one of the finest music scores (courtesy, Javier Navarrete) in recent memory. While echoing the work of Ennio Morricone for the spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, it also cleverly incorporates passages from Giuseppe Verdi's opera
All seen and relished, The Warrior's Way is the zingiest entertainment of the year.