Ninja Assassin and The Warrior’s Way: Can we get our facts straight? Seriously!
[Cloud USA] About a week ago, when someone posted a preview that said (and I paraphrase), “The Warrior’s Way just might succeed at what Ninja Assassin tried to do…” I cringed. Not because I’m a Cloud, but because the statement was so blatantly incorrect.
Ninja Assassin‘s director made his purpose quite clear — the movie was an homage to the ninja movies of old, those great blood-gushing, chi-using, absolutely over the top Black Belt Theater pieces that many of us loved to watch back in the 80s and 90s. Without the buckets of CGI blood, ninja blurs, and other effects, it would have missed the mark completely with us aficionados. Even Master Sho, the legend himself, was in it! Hello? The movie did what it set out to do, and a hell of a lot of men and women who aren’t Rain fans enjoyed the crap out of it. It was a respectful tribute. Homage. Got that? And to my knowledge, The Warrior’s Way is NOT an homage to the 80s in any way, shape, or form, but the fable of a hunted warrior trying to make a new life on a fantasy American frontier. Producer Michael Peyser himself described it in Variety as a combination of the Samurai movie and a Western. There isn’t a ninja anywhere in it.
So why are you comparing apples and oranges?
But hey, I let it go. I let it roll off my back. And then today, » I see THIS. Which means there’s no telling where else it is.
First of all, let me say that I adore new father Jang DongGun and have for years. I can — and will — watch his work until the cows come home. He deserves a Hollywood film because he’s that good. I can’t wait to see The Warrior’s Way (which is also CG’d to death, but so what? Who cares?). Dear lord, the plot, the character, and the trailer are to die for, and I want it to kick ass at the box office. So my rant isn’t because I have a problem with DongGun or his film. It has to do with the film being represented correctly.
Second of all, Rain was not cast in a supporting role in Ninja Assassin. He was the LEAD. The star. And he played “Raizo” to the hilt. In fact, the movie itself was built around him. His character’s weapon was invented for him. The fight choreography was also built around him because as fast as 87Eleven came up with the moves, he would evolve beyond them. Warner Bros. is one of the Big Six, a major film studio not only here, but across the planet; they saw something special in Rain and weren’t afraid to invest in a Korean singer/actor not known in the U.S. of A. Bless them.
This pop star did 90% of his own stunts. And the fire at the end of the movie was real. There was no wire and no camera tricks. He was shirtless and barefoot in the midst of flying embers and baking like a turkey, thrown through crap and leaping around as if he was on strings. He was slinging that chain after several months as if he’d been doing it his whole life. And he held his own against Sho-sama, who was pretty damn impressed.
Rain is the very first Korean actor with a lead role in a Hollywood movie. DongGun is the second. And everything I’m pulling up indicates that Ninja Assassin and The Warrior’s Way were both made for roughly the same amount of money (between $40-$50 million?).
I love the way both men are cracking the door open for other talented Koreans. How about throwing one of them a romantic comedy, or a suspense thriller that has nothing to do with martial arts? Asian men can be something other than warriors (Jackie Chan included), and perhaps we’re sitting on the cusp of a change in the usual wind that blows through Tinseltown. Rain and DongGun have so much to offer American audiences, and I look for their individual Hollywood journeys to continue on for years to come.
For them to do a project together, along with some Hollywood royalty… now that would be heaven indeed.
— Stephe @cloudusa.wordpress.com