"Sngmoo Lee’s The Warrior's Way is the dictionary definition of style over substance if ever there was one. Jang Dong Gun takes on the role of a 19th century samurai in the American West, who’s job it is to protect a small child from an assortment of villainess scum. Peter Jackson's WETA Digital provides the stunning special effects, adding to a heady mix of martial arts action and western gun slinging. Jang is joined by Kate Boswoth, Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush, Danny Huston and Hong Kong veteran Ti Lung.
On a mission to kill his clan's last enemy, Yang (Jang Dong Gun) finds himself in turmoil when he realizes that the enemy he’s facing is little more than an infant. To protect the child, Yang flees from his past in order to start a new life. Unsurprisingly, the clan's warriors find Yang and the baby, forcing him to pick up his sword once more, for the pleasure of an undemanding audience the world over.
If you’re looking for storyline, structure and characterisation, you’ve come to the wrong place. The Warrior’s Way is a striking samurai flick with next to no primer beneath the glossy surface. The action sequences are highly stylised and beautifully rendered, but without emotional investment they fail to make a true connection. Jang Dong Gun sure looks the part as he slices his way through hordes of ninja fodder, but his one-dimensional character fails to make a lasting impression. Geoffrey Rush is miscast but always entertaining, Danny Huston gets a handful of good lines and Kate Boswoth makes for a lively live-action Jessie the Cowgirl.
With little storyline to speak of The Warrior’s Way struggles to find it’s feet, even if the final act more than compensates with an overdose of cartoon violence and quick-fire gunplay. Sngmoo Lee sure paints a pretty picture, but there’s no denying that Jang Dong Gun’s English-language debut stutters when it needs to scream."