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Film / The Warrior's Way

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"Ninjas. Damn."
Ron note 

The Warrior's Way is a western/ninja/circus movie released in 2010. The film's story revolves around the character Yang, an Asian swordsman (Jang Dong-gun) who was exiled from his clan after refusing to kill a baby, and Lynne (Kate Bosworth), a troubled woman with a horrific past. The film uses green screen throughout and liberal use of special effects.

This film includes examples of the following tropes:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Both The Colonel and Saddest Flute are significantly more dangerous than their respective underlings.
  • Badass Longcoat: Yang wears a long black coat for the second half of the movie.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: The Colonel orders this done to the two Mexican girls he intends to rape.
  • Battle in the Rain: The final battle between Yang and the Saddest Flute takes place in a storm that literally blows up out of nowhere (It seems to be a flashback to a training session substituted in place of their actual final fight).
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  • Black Cloak: The Sad Flutes' uniform (if it can be called that) is a body-covering long cloak, big straw hat, and blades.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Colonel and Saddest Flute are dead, Eight-ball and many of the carnies are also dead, but the remaining Sad Flutes will continue to hunt Yang ensuring he cannot settle down with Lynne. The Carnival is destroyed as is the Ferris Wheel that was supposed to save the town. However Lynne is alive as is the Baby and they should be safe.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Considering how Yang normally does against such odds, though...
  • Booze Flamethrower: The fire eater from the circus uses this to light the candles on a birthday cake. It becomes a Chekhov's Skill when he later uses it to light a couple of the Colonel's henchmen on fire.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Yang. He dodges a bullet at point-blank range!
  • Chinese Launderer: Yang takes over the laundry when he arrives in Lode, mainly because that's what everyone assumes he'll be good at. He actually has to learn how to do it from Lynne.
  • Clothing Switch: The town guy who takes one of the Sad Flutes' Coat, Hat, Mask combo after the Final Battle. Doubles as a Funny Background Event since nobody says anything of it and he doesn't get a single line while wearing it.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: The Sad Flutes' suits. So cool looking a town guy actually bothers to put one on after they're dead.
  • Colonel Badass: The Colonel, as expected. He's the only one of the enemy soldiers that puts up a decent fight, although he never really fights Yang and his fight is with Lynne instead.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Yang tears through groups of mooks with no problem. The only time he actually has to pause and expend some effort are against lone major characters. They don't last much longer either, though.
  • Contract on the Hitman: The Sad Flutes are not happy with Yang...
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Cowboys. Vs. Ninjas.
  • Covers Always Lie: the movie poster features a blond Kate Bosworth in a dress. Lynne in the movie is a Fiery Redhead tomboy who wears masculine clothing for all but one scene.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Yang must run from everyone he loves to prevent the Sad Flutes from killing them.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Invoked by Lynne at one point with a tight dress, with the dirt still on her face.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: One of the town guys bothers to wear the hat and cape of one of the fallen ninjas after the Final Battle is done.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The reason Ron is the town drunk.
  • Dodge the Bullet: Yang dodges a point blank pistol shot at the end, anticipating the shot a split second before it's fired.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Horrifically subverted with the Colonel. He singles out a Mexican woman with clean teeth so that he can rape her. However, her husband comes out and protests so the Colonel declares that he would never sleep with a married woman. Then the Colonel shoots them both dead and decides that he would rather rape their two daughters instead.
  • Faceless Mooks: The faces of the many ninjas are never seen. Most of the bandits wear bandannas over their faces as well.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: The Colonel, right before Lynne kills him.
    Colonel: I'll see you in hell, little girl. Wear something nasty.
  • Foreshadowing: The Colonel, at one point, talks about how he hanged a man by his hamstrings. Lynne ends up leading into her killing blow against him by hamstringing him.
  • Fun with Subtitles: At the beginning.
    Subtitle: The Greatest Swordsman in History of Mankind. (Beat). Ever.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Yang and Lynne have scars that are covered by their clothing. The Colonel has horrible facial scars.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Not all the time, but there are an awful lot of shots of blood spatters hitting screens and such. One such massacre takes place entirely in a dust cloud.
  • Groin Attack: Eight Ball's method of dealing with the three delinquents harassing Yang. For the final battle he dons a glove with the palm covered in spikes, but never gets to use it.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Yang. The whole reason he's in this mess to begin with is because he disobeyed orders to kill a child.
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: There's definitely something going on with the flower garden in the desert.
  • Human Shield: Used primarily by Yang
  • Implacable Man:
    • Yang is the Worlds Greatest Warrior and hordes of enemies can't do more than slow him down for a few seconds.
    • The Sad Flutes, who seem to have an inexhaustible supply of assassins hunting Yang to every corner of the world.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The Sad Flutes' clothes, so much one of the town boys takes them off one and wears them after they are all dead.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Forms the premise of the film, although it is averted in the case of Lynne's brother.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: the reason Yang leaves April and Lynne.
  • Kill Them All: The Sad Flutes just don't do subtle at all. One scene shows them going to America in a stolen ship... and because they killed all of the crew, the ship has a gigantic trail of blood in its wake.
  • Mêlée à Trois : The climax becomes this when the Sad Flutes arrive. Yang and the Townspeople vs. The Colonel's Army vs. The Sad Flutes.
  • Meaningful Name: They name the baby April, the month in which cherry trees bloom.
  • More Dakka: The only times the bandits have an advantage over the Sad Flutes is when they deploy their machineguns.
  • Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: While this does not universally apply to every ninja in the movie, Yang and some of the other Sad Flutes are skilled enough in their swordmanship that their opponents with guns will likely get cut down or disarmed at blinding speeds before they can do anything about it.
  • Nice Hat: The Sad Flutes have huge straw hats that cover their faces.
  • No Name Given: The main character's name is never uttered within the movie. You learn it in the credits. Lynne calls him "Skinny" most of the time.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: All the sword fights are like this, the most traditional being the one at the beginning where Yang becomes The Greatest Swordsman in the World by killing The Greatest Swordsman in the World. The only two prolonged fights with any degree of Flynning are the ones at the end between Lynne and the Colonel, and between Yang and Saddest Flute (which appears to be a training flashback substituted in place of their actual final battle).
  • Slashed Throat: Yang defeats Saddest Flute in this manner.
  • Softspoken Sadist: The Colonel, who delights in rape murder but almost never raise his voice.
  • Stepping-Stone Sword: The Colonel thrusts at Lynne; missing her and getting his sabre stuck in the wall. Lynne uses his sabre as a step to retrieve her own sword, which is stuck higher up in the wall.
  • Sword Drag: Yang does this twice in the opening scene, letting the tip of his blade scrape over bridge planks followed by gravel. Possibly an intimidation tactic or (more likely) just done for Rule of Cool.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: "We only have 100 sticks of dynamite" - and most of these are used to inflict massive casualties on the Colonel's forces in the end of the film. By the end of the finale, every stick has been used up.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Lynne insists to Yang that she's the one who has to kill the Colonel for the atrocities he's done to her family. Yang slices the Colonel's guns and prevents him from using April as a hostage in the final battle, but aside from that he obliges.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Yang does it while battling the ninjas in the laundry. But Yang is The Greatest Swordsman In The World. Ever.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The trailer's line, "Ninjas. Damn," does not appear in the film, nor are the Sad Flutes ever described as ninjas.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The last scene of the movie? In the trailer.
  • We Have Reserves: The Sad Flutes keep throwing dozens of their men at Yang, even as he keeps cutting them down. Saddest Flute even has no problem wasting the majority of his men in a pointless fight against random bandit assholes, instead of focusing on the guy they came specifically to kill.
  • What a Drag: The Colonel does this to Ron, dragging him behind his horse along the main street.
  • Whip It Good: Both the Colonel and one of his henchmen display expert skill with a bullwhip. The Colonel wraps the lash around Ron's before dragging him through the town behind his horse. The henchman uses it to yank Lynne's feet out from under her during the fight in the Colonel's room.
  • William Telling:
    • Using booze in place of an apple.
    • Subverted when Ron drinks the booze.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Yang wouldn't. The Sad Flutes would. Saddest Flute's Resignations Not Accepted speech puts much emphasis on the fact that Yang should have (and must still) kill the kid, because she will always be "the Enemy".
    • The Colonel shows again and again that he has no problem shooting kids if he wishes to, and in the final battle he even takes April (a baby) as hostage to try to fend off Yang and unhesitatingly pulls the trigger when Yang keeps coming (Yang slices the revolver in half, and the bullet that was already going down the barrel).
  • X on a Stick: Baby on a stick!


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