The upside is, every so often, a work of art comes along that is so innovative it changes the whole paradigm of its media, bearing a tangible influence on everything that follows. The downside is, most of what follows is a pale imitator -- like how every movie with an Asian in it sinceCrouching Tiger, Hidden Drago
has to have flying-ass ninjas, or how everything sinceThe Matrix
gets the old bullets-in-super-slow-motion treatment, or how every western since Sergio Leone traffics in the same stone-faced-badasses-looking-for-redemption archetypes. Or, in the case ofThe Warrior's Way
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, all three.
Probably the coolest thing this movie's got going for it is the ninjas that keep bursting out of the ground all slow-mo -- but if that trick pops up three times in the two-minute trailer alone, you can be pretty positive that it's going to lose its luster by the 90-minute mark. Other than that, this movie appears to be a melting-pot of stuff we've already seen time and time again: The stylized ninja flick, the chosen-assassin flick, the chosen-assassin-ninja-flick-combined-with-the-western-flick (I'm pretty sure Jackie Chan's been in a couple of those, actually). This stuff is pretty much old-hat, and it doesn't help much to spice it up with a soundtrack of starting-and-stopping-every-two-seconds-for-a-one-liner nu-metal schlock.
And how about those one-liners, amiright? "Ninjas. Damn." Thanks, old cowboy typecast guy, those were pretty much my thoughts exactly.