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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the hero starts out killing everyone he can as part of a clan war, his course is eventually changed, and he learns to work with others and to help the townspeople face impossible odds. He also learns friendship and understands that to build and grow things is better than to destroy them. (Unfortunately, this lesson doesn't stick all the way to the end of the story.)
Positive Role Models
The hero is a highly trained killer who attempts to lay down his sword and build a new life for himself. He makes friends, starts a business, grows some flowers, and allows himself to love a girl. He even helps organize the townspeople and helps them face terrible odds. Unfortunately, he believes that because of his violent past, everything he loves will eventually be destroyed. And the movie's heroine is mainly bent on revenge.
Violence & Scariness
Extreme but cartoonish violence includes many dead bodies, plus spraying blood, swordfighting, gun-fighting, knife-fighting, dynamite, and explosions. A frying pan filled with hot grease is splashed into a character's face. The villain and his henchmen also commit violence against a young girl, dragging her through the streets, kicking her, and eventually shooting her and killing her family. Later, these same villains treat a grown woman roughly, pinning her down on a bed with the suggestion of attempted rape (she's rescued). In some scenes, a baby is present during moments of violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The hero and the heroine flirt and share one passionate kiss. The hero is seen without his shirt in one shot; later, the heroine wears a frilly dress that reveals cleavage. She uses the dress to seduce the villain, whom she intends to kill, and there's a little bit of "foreplay" (he licks her neck). In one shot, two teen girls are being scrubbed in a tub.
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Language is infrequent but includes "s--t," "goddamn," "damn," and "hell." The bad guys also use a couple of racial slurs against the Chinese (actually South Korean) lead character, including "yellow" and "chink."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character is portrayed as the town drunk, but his antics are comical; he doesn't really have a drinking problem, and he sobers up when necessary. Minor characters occasionally drink whisky.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this action-packed movie -- which blends elements of Westerns and Asian martial arts movies -- is brimming with cartoonish violence. There's lots of fighting with swords, knives, and guns, plus spraying blood and plenty of dead bodies -- but it's all done without any real sense of danger. Some of the violence (less bloody but still potentially upsetting) is directed toward a young girl and a woman. The hero and heroine flirt and kiss (and she uses a low-cut dress to help her seduce a bad guy), and one character is presented as a comical town drunk. Language is infrequent and includes a few uses of words like "s--t" and "damn." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The American-educated Korean filmmaker Sngmoo Lee makes his directorial debut with THE WARRIOR'S WAY, and it's a great deal of fun. It pairs up Korean and American stars, as well as the martial arts and Western genres (though it's definitely better versed in the former than in the latter). The result is slick, brisk, and entertaining, although some audiences may be unsettled by the presence of a baby in the midst of all the violence, as well as brief violent acts committed against a young girl.
Jang Dong-gun (previously seen in Chen Kaige's The Promise) turns in an appealingly low-key, stoic performance, and he's nicely matched by the high power of his American co-stars, especially the spunky Bosworth, who has never been better. Lee draws from a number of genre conventions, but he does so with cheerful self-awareness and mixes them all together with a kind of infectious glee. His action sequences are clear and snappy, with the ante forever being upped for the unbelievably explosive climax.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.