Directed by Victor Salva ("Jeepers
Written by Kevin Bernhardt. Based on the novel by Dan
Starring Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte, Tim DeKay and Amy Smart.
Release Year: 2006
Review Date: 7/8/06
"Peaceful Warrior", which is one of those
"inspired by real events" dramas, incorporates the best and the
worst of the philosophy from recent thrillers like "The Matrix" with
the recent gymnastics movie "Stick It" with a dash of Nick Nolte,
who is nearing the age of 1,000.
With all of this, you get a mixed bag that
is watchable but ultimately forgettable. That's due in part to
the horseshit performance of Scott Mechlowicz, who was great in
"Eurotrip" but very not great here as Dan Millman (who is the
real-life author of the book "Peaceful Warrior"), a rings star at
Cal that is gunning for a berth in the Olympics when we meet him.
One night, after a bad dream, he walks by a gas station manned by an
old guy (Nolte), and after the twosome exchange pleasantries, the
old guy simply jumps 20 feet into the air on top of the building.
Yeah. Dan, shocked, comes back the next day, and learns more
about inner focus, crazy zen-like philosophies (not crazy, just
crazy to Dan), catching flying objects without looking at them
and--after suffering through a horrific motorcycling
accident--learning to recover from having your leg broken in 17
places to regain the form that might make him an Olympic champion.
The Dan/old guy relationship has good
moments, and Nolte is great as the Morpheus/Miyagi/Yoda-like mentor.
I also enjoyed the idea that gymnasts are rolling so much box &
boozing so often that they can barely keep up with their studies (or
that Cal has loads of hotties walking around...been there, wrong),
so I was greatly entertained at times during the free showing for
this last week. But Mechlowicz at times is so bad people were
laughing in my audience; a strange character played by Amy Smart
(can any one actress make any more mistakes with her career?) also
comes off as meaningless; some of the life lessons that the Nolte
character teaches to Dan seem like Duh! 101. The film is very
up-and-down; ultimately, I don't know if a film like this really
changes anything or was an attempt to even kinda change anything,
and as such, it makes itself forgettable early on.
Hey, it least it was free.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard