Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's Not ALL Hollywood's Fault - A look at The Warrior's Way

The Warrior's Way
written by: Mr. APA
 I am just as guilty as everybody else in this but so often on these blogs, we complain, complain, complain that Hollywood is holding us down and doesn't want to share our stories or put Asian American/Asian faces on the big screen.
We keep thinking that if they'd just put more Asian stars in movies, Hollywood would see that people will watch movies with Asian people.  The Warrior's way is special because it isn't an Asian movie that was made in Korea or China and became a huge hit and then released here, this movie was made with the specific idea that it was for American audiences.  Check out the trailer below, it'll help you better understand what the article's about!

Some of you might remember the "Sucker Punch" trailer movie post I showed a few weeks ago, check it here, but for those of you who do know, some of the stuff seems EERILY similar.

For those of you who did know, The Warrior's Way did open last week to a dismal...

3.1 million dollars 
The Warrior's Way
Kate Bosworth probably made more money than the movie did
For a little scale,  the Harry Potter movie made 16.8 million dollars in it's THIRD WEEK.  The budget for The Warrior's Way was 42 million dollars.  That means, somebody lost A LOT OF money on this deal (or is going too).

So what does this all mean?  Hollywood is a business and it needs to make money.  losing 30+ million dollars isn't good business and whoever greenlit this film is probably fired.

It's too bad because this film actually did show a lot of progress for Asians in film.  Sure, it was full of Ninjas and starred a protagonist who was the strong silent type (international Korean super star Dong-gun Jang) but hey, it had an Asian guy as a bad ass.  The "strong silent type" was probably to limit his dialogue and more likely a favor to him (why make the guy battle through lines) as opposed to not letting him talk. 

the Warrior's way
That's a lot of Ninjas
I think the best part of the trailer is when Geoffrey Rush says "Ninjas", perhaps had they renamed this movie Cowboys vs Ninjas, it would have made more money.

The movie also does something awesome.  The very lovely Kate Bosworth is in the film and guess what, our Warrior gets a little kissy kissy action.  HOLLA!  Perhaps we have the Ryan Higa/Arden Cho kiss to thank for this.  (don't worry, it's in the trailer, I'm not ruining the movie for you)
The Warrior's Way
I hope he slips her the tongue
Ninja Assasin Yeah man, as much progress as this movie did, sadly nobody watched it.  So what does this mean?  I really don't know.  Can we blame Hollywood for not making more movies like this if nobody's watching?  It is a business, but then again, if they stop making these, we're doomed.  Perhaps it has more to do with the movie than anything else but then, we have to think, what kind of movie starring an Asian Guy would we watch?

And for those thinking Ninja Assassasin, it did do much better than Warrior's Way but that wasn't a huge hit either.  Perhaps we just need to move on from Ninjas?

So what do you think guys?  Should we blame Hollywood a little less for trying to make a film starring us Asian people but still failing or should we challenge Hollywood more to really try to make a movie about us Asian Americans that DOESN'T INVOLVE NINJAS!


  1. Hmm this is quite the question you pose here! I literally have no idea. I think it did poorly because well, it looked like a stupid movie. Like I looove martial arts movies, but this one looked so stylized and ridiculous (as if real ninjas would attack in swarms like that) that I wouldn't even want to watch this on principle! I think the worst part is that Hollywood will use this terrible movie as a shining example as to why Asians don't sell.

  2. How many years do I have to wait for another "Joy Luck Club"? What's so Asian American about these type of films? Though I hated that the movie Gran Torino focused more on reinforcing cultural stereotypes and on the great white racist hope, I appreciated the movie recognizing the struggles that Hmong people face within their own communities in America and how that affected their Americanization. I'd LOVE to see more films like that.

    So now I'm recognizing a trend. So are Asian men only relevant in movies as "warriors" or comedic relief? Hmmm. That sounds a lot like racism.

  3. im white, my consensus is;

    theres generally a greater percentage of hot white guys than asian guys, white guys usually have better bodies, though. Asian men are the least desirable men in the world.

    Personally I would never approach an asian men, they are ugly and the they look like monkeys.

  4. That's just mean and untrue, Donny. I feel really sorry for you.

  5. Donny's just a troll trying to kick up shit. To answer the question, the reason this movie didn't do well is because it looks like a shit movie regardless of Asian or no Asian. On the bright side, it was an honest attempt at making a cultural crossover movie. But we're gonna need better writing, a better premise, and maybe an Asian American who can speak English (gee what a novel idea!) so that his character can show more depth than just a few badass, silent closeup shots. Hollywood still needs to be challenged to make non-stereotypical shitty movies. What they're really trying to do is broaden their audience; they're reaching for Asian audiences and they assume Asians over there love all things American. So, they made a hybrid movie that they thought would appeal not only to Americans (fighting and ninja shit) but also to Asia (Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, and other American shit oh and an already-famous-over-there Asian star). This particular experiment obviously didn't work but it won't be the last attempt. See Green Hornet. Oh and G.I. Joe with that Storm Shadow dude. Hollywood's reaching for the Bruce Lee effect. Put someone who's big in China [or insert Asian country of choice here] into the film so you have a built-in billions-plus audience.

  6. I LOVE your blog. As a black chick, let me point out that more representation ≠ better representation...I'd love to see more Asian men and women on the screen, but I would hate for this community to be represented by the Asian Tyler Perry.

  7. One of our girls (a white girl who loves Asian men) did a movie review of The Warrior's Way. She liked it, but then again she's also a geek.

    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 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. 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 only highlight was the beautiful Kate kissing the Asian Man.