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Academy Award® Winner Geoffrey Rush, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston and International sensation Jang Dong Gun star in this boldly original film that blends intense martial arts action with a dazzling visual style. After a lifetime of training in swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat, the world’s most dangerous fighter Jang flees his homeland to start a new life in the American West. But soon the hunter becomes the hunted, and now the legendary warrior must wage a fierce, all-out battle against a renegade gang of outlaws and a pack of murderous assassins from his own past.
"This is the story of a sad flute, a laughing baby, and a weeping sword," a voice intones at the beginning of The Warrior's Way. It's also a story in which bullets fly, blood flows, and the body count mounts to the point where you'll need a calculator to keep track, often to the accompaniment of a Verdi opera. Writer-director Sngmoo Lee's film centers on a lone warrior named Yang Jang Dong-gun, "the greatest swordsman in the history of mankind," who has managed to wipe out all of his enemies save one, that being an adorable infant whom he refuses to murder, much to the displeasure of his boss, the leader of a band known as the Sad Flutes. For reasons never quite explained, our exiled hero soon finds himself in a thoroughly dilapidated town in the American west, where a half-finished ferris wheel looms and the inhabitants consist mainly of a bunch of worn-out circus performers clowns, bearded lady, midget ringmaster, the whole shebang, the town drunk Geoffrey Rush, a very long way from his Oscar-winning performance in Shine, and a beautiful young woman Kate Bosworth, sporting a ridiculous accent whose family was slaughtered by a local bad guy known as the Colonel Danny Huston, suitably sadistic. Yang improbably takes over the town's laundry service, plants a garden, and cares for the baby, but we know it won't be long before his real talents will be needed--and sure enough, when the Colonel and his band of filthy wretches ride back into town, followed not long thereafter by a platoon of acrobatic ninjas sent to dispatch our hero, Yang and the locals have their hands full. All of this is fairly ridiculous, but the movie has a surreal, painterly look imagine a cross between Dali, Fellini, and a graphic novel that's never less than engaging. Jang is no Olivier, to say the least, but he's handsome and charismatic, and although the ending holds few surprises especially once he instructs the Bosworth character in "the warrior's way", genre fans are likely to be enchanted. --Sam Graham