“The Warrior’s Way” Movie Review from a White Girl’s Point of View

by Heather · 17 comments

The Warrior's Way: Asian Man White Woman Kiss!

The Warrior's Way: Asian Man White Woman Kiss!

When researching “The Warrior’s Way”, the one and pretty much only thing that got my attention was that the leading man, Jang Dong Gun, would get a kiss from the female opposite, Kate Bosworth. Anything else came secondary, and I had little expectations for this movie.

I’m still amazed that I walked away with a new favorite film.

Where to begin? Jang Dong Gun, who has starred in box-office hits like Chingoo and Tae GukKi, was the attractive, masculine hero, swooping in at the right moments to save the day and the dame. Kate Bosworth played a bright and bubbly country bumpkin with an agenda of her own, which included stealing a kiss from the alpha Asian. There was the most adorable happa baby to ever exist with equally adorable acting skills, and…did I mention it was NINJAS vs. COWBOYS?!

Yeah, it was pretty kickass.

Unfortunately, not many people agreed with me – I was one of five people in the theater on the opening day, and I’m pretty sure none of them enjoyed it quite like I did. Granted, the fight scenes were greeted with awe and the filming was insightful and artistic. I’m sure neither of these things escaped the viewers. What I feel many people missed is the message the director was trying to send: what the races of the actors expressed about this attempt to rewrite Hollywood’s racial roles. These things seem minuscule to a typical movie-goer, but to me, it was one of the most ground-breaking moments in cinematic history.

Take, most obviously, the Asian male lead. While he is from South Korea and not Asian-American, the fact that an Asian was cast as a lead, despite the martial-arts background of the movie, is still very uncommon. Place a non-Asian female lead as his love interest that he actually gets to kiss and we already have something beautiful but very rarely seen. In addition, it is crucial to make note that she kissed him; this portrays that women find Asian men attractive. Let that sentence sink in – women find Asian men as a sex symbol, a love interest, a romantic partner. It was a glorious thing to behold.

Supporting roles and race were also incredibly important. Geoffrey Rush, most recent notable movies include the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was the town drunk with secret sniping skills that aided our hero in ridding the town of evil. And, just as the good guys had an Asian and a White man, evil did too. The sleepy Western town was caught in the grasp of a disfigured White man who loved nothing more than causing chaos and sleeping with women. On the other hand, there was a horde of ninjas, headed by a supporting Asian actor, chasing after our hero for his disobedience, killing everything in sight.

So what did these actors say with their respective races? When Kate Bosworth was in the sinister clutches of the Caucasian villains, about to be raped, Jang Dong Gun, with agility and ease, flew in and swiftly killed her captors. In sum, an alpha Asian saved a woman from an evil White man. It showed that Asian men are powerful and capable, just like White men. But, to show that not all White men are evil and against Asian men, Geoffrey Rush stood in the background, the unsung hero that denied recognition, and helped save the town from certain destruction. It showed that the White man doesn’t always need to be the hero; he has many faces and is capable of sharing the limelight. Finally, Jang Dong Gun faced

his former mentor, head of the ninjas, in a samurai showdown-like standoff, reminding the audience that, just as Asian men need to be shown in a positive light, realistically, they are human, and can be good as well as evil.

The movie truly resonated with me, appealing to my inner nerd in so many different ways. It made me giddy to see some of the coolest fight scenes set to epic, Asian-influenced music, and, of course, that AM/WF kiss. This movie is odd and stylized, but I urge everyone to support it so we see more alpha Asians in cinema in the future.

  • Thanks for the great analysis! Haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m hoping to catch it on the big screen before it closes. Glad to see a hot Asian man in a Hollywood movie as the hero & love interest.

  • I really hate to say this because I really, really, REALLY wanted to like the movie, but I was more disappointed than anything.

    The only actual good choreographed fight scenes were with Kate Bosworth. The male actor’s fight scenes simply consisted of green screen effects. He’d flash his sword, CGI blood, and enemies were defeated. It was more comic book style than realistic.

    For example, there’s a concept called “Show vs Tell.” Showing someone is always better than telling someone.

    I knew the movie was in trouble in beginning when it said “Greatest Swordsman Ever.” And then the the male lead flashed his sword and the guy died instantly. No fight scene at all.

    That’s an example of simply telling. It didn’t actually show what is supposed to be an amazing, legendary fight between the two greatest swordsmen in history.

    The biggest highlight was the beautiful Kate kissing the Asian Man.

  • Heather

    I took the movie with a grain of salt initially, and that’s why I think I ended up liking it. I hyped it up and made it seem better and then…well, look what happened. Sure, there were green screen effects and whatnot, but does it not being real make it less cool? The strobe-light scene in the corridor was probably my favorite because it was something I hadn’t seen before. It seemed pretty original to me. At any rate, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. I still recommend it!

  • Heather

    I took the movie with a grain of salt initially, and that’s why I think I ended up liking it. I hyped it up and made it seem better and then…well, look what happened. Sure, there were green screen effects and whatnot, but does it not being real make it less cool? The strobe-light scene in the corridor was probably my favorite because it was something I hadn’t seen before. It seemed pretty original to me. At any rate, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. I still recommend it!

  • I agree with Heather that the AMWF kissing scene, however brief, is in itself a really big deal. The last big movie I saw that involved an asian male winning the heart of a white female was Shanghai Kiss, which must have been released a good three years ago. Had I known about this movie earlier, I would have also been one of the five/six people in that movie theater as well. Like Heather says, good or bad, we need to support these movies to encourage the filming of more AMWF movies.

  • Thanks for the review. I’ll check to see if it’s on Netflix yet.

  • Frank

    movie wasn’t very good but i didn’t expect much from it. from an action perspective they did not have any talented martial artists, and from an acting perspective the starring actor is working with a second language. aside from the AMWF kiss though i thought another thing was important, and that is making the Warrior character a more three dimensional, dynamic character as the storyline progresses and he becomes more comfortable with the townspeople. nevermind having a strong asian male character, it’s also important to have a NORMAL asian male character, instead of a just killing machine with cryptic upbringing.

  • Perry

    Thanks for the review! I’m definitely going to watch it now!

  • Dsjfgs

    White people are inferior and they know it so they want to eliminate every other race so they can be superior. They try to make other races look weak and inferior through the media and etc. There are more chinks in this world than any other race. There are chinks in Mexico, Brazil, Ireland, and Jamaica to name a few. I don’t know what the fuck they’re doing there to begin with. We spread our seeds everywhere. We create interracial babies with chinese blood flowing rapidly through their veins and pumping their hearts. More and more half asian and half -whatever-race mixed together. This is how we slowly, but surley take over the world. So suck it!

    • Heather

      Hold on now…we’re not trying to say one race is inferior or whatever. Even though I don’t date White men, without one I wouldn’t exist. Instead of hatred towards one race, what we try to strive for is equality, not superiority.

  • Princesssilki

    i couldnt have said it better myself. right on!

    • Princesssilki

      though i wonder why he didn’t kiss Lynn back. He just stood there, arms hanging at the side. Dangit!

      • ArabianNights

        Maybe cos he was a little surprised that a white girl kissed an asian dude on film and didn’t have time to react… The kiss was over by the time he came out of his stupor of incredulity.

  • Katelyn Hyde

    Thanks for the review. But I think Asian man and white woman pair up in not uncommon. Think of Jackie Chan, most of his leading ladies are white and they also kissed.

  • I wish I were a ninja. Then white girls will be all over me.

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  • Andy

    Thank you Heather! I felt the same way about this movie and you captured everything in this review better than I could have done it! 🙂