I went to see an interesting movie recently called The Peaceful Warrior. It is probably not at your local cineplex since it is in very limited release. In fact, I had to travel to New York City to find a theatre that was playing it.
I should start by saying that this movie is not for everyone. Let’s be very clear about that. If you are looking for standard Hollywood fare, look elsewhere.
Peaceful Warrior has been compared to the Karate Kid and I can see the similarities, but this is not a movie for teenagers. College students might relate to it since the story involves a college athlete but alot of the concepts in the movie won’t appeal to kids who are not yet concerned with “the meaning of life” and their place in the cosmos. You will see in some of the reviews below that there are even some adults who “get it” and some that don’t.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I would recommend it. It is not for everyone, so if enlightenment is not high on your priorities, don’t bother with Peaceful Warrior. Go see a summer blockbuster.
Here are some other reviews …..
Here is what STING had to say about the movie …
“A lot of movies promise happiness, but most often it’s the ‘fleeting’ happiness of a thrill ride, and when it’s over, it’s over; you feel empty, and begin searching for the next thrill. Very few movies actually question what happiness is, or suggest ways that it can be sustained. Peaceful Warrior asks this question and in doing so takes you out of your mind, and those who would consider themselves sane would be ‘out of their minds’ not to see it. Peaceful warrior is an important film, an inspiring film, and a film that could change lives.” -Sting
There are also comments on www.peacefulwarrior.net (which has been called the “community site” for the movie) from other celebrity such as Phil Jackson(Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers), Deepak Chopra(Author, “Peace Is The Way”), Eckhart Tolle(Author of “The Power of Now”) and Jim Carrey (actor).
Here are 4 links to critic reviews (originally found on Fandango):
These are 4 generally negative reviews… and it is pretty clear to see that they don’t get it.
USAToday… “Peaceful Warrior is The Karate Kid set in the world of gymnastics. The Pat Morita character is less Zen and more homespun, in the silver-haired and smoothly coiffed form of Socrates (Nick Nolte). His alleged wisdom is a blend of platitudes and New Age psychobabble: “Be in the moment. It’s all about the journey. There is no start and there is no end. There’s just being.”
LA Times… “Like a blip in a genre timeline that extends from “Grass-hoppah” through “wax on, wax off” and Morrie-filled Tuesdays, the sage-elder/wayward-charge saga Peaceful Warrior aims for inspirational highs but mostly feels like a self-help book read aloud by actors. “
Variety…. “Long-in-gestation Peaceful Warrior is so under the spell of the be-here-now philosophy of Dan Millman’s New Age-y memoir from which it was drawn that it loses sight of the need to credibly dramatize the ideas. Mere recitation of homilies for better living — which is what Nick Nolte’s gas station guru imparts to a struggling young gymnast — and a half-baked account of the athlete’s comeback are no substitutes for a complete movie.”
Washington Post… “An arrogant college gymnast gets his comeuppance, followed by a measure of Eastern-style enlightenment in this over-earnest, heavy-handed drama. Yet despite its artistic flaws, certain teens will deem Peaceful Warrior a profound experience because of the way it asks its central character — and us — to reorder life’s priorities. True, the film smacks more of The Karate Kid (PG, 1984) than Little Buddha (PG, 1993), but for American kids to hear a mentor urge a callow youth to “live in the moment” and treasure the journey more than the destination is unusual. “
Now, here is someone who “gets it” !
Hollywood Reporter… “…There’s no question that legions of Millman’s fans will embrace this film version of the 25-year-old best-seller. But in adapting the first two-thirds of the book, director Victor Salva and writer Kevin Berhardt clearly aimed to do more than preach to the personal growth/self-realization choir; for the most part they avoid self¬congratulatory New Age philosophizing and focus on character. “
Other blog reviews: