`Warrior' is a victim of uninspiring narrative

review D

July 14, 2006|By MICHAEL SRAGOW | MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Peaceful Warrior fails pitifully at being transcendent. This New Age movie about living in the moment gets you looking at your watch and squirming in your seat.

It's a self-defeating movie: It uses fustian, volatile melodrama to salute the serenity of Eastern spirituality. There are few more dynamic or fascinating presences in pictures today than Nick Nolte, who wears the lines of innocence and experience on his face and carries them like an artist. But he alone can't vitalize this quasi-Buddha-like tale of a wise, grizzled gas-station attendant named Socrates (Nolte, of course) who mentors a super-competitive yet confused University of California, Berkeley gymnast, Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz).

Peaceful Warrior (Lions Gate) Starring Nick Nolte, Scott Mechlowicz and Amy Smart. Directed by Victor Salva. Rated PG-13. Time 120 minutes.

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