Essay on The Peaceful Warrior

Words: 922
Pages: 4

I came into the screening of Peaceful Warrior, director Victor Salva's adaptation of former gymnast/self-help writer Dan Millman's 1980 autobiography Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives (using a screenplay written by Kevin Bernhardt), with mixed feelings. I had seen clips of the movie on "Ebert & Roeper," and they seemed a little boring. When I finally saw the movie, I wasn't bored…but I did have a different negative reaction ultimately.

Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz) is a UC Berkeley gymnast who has everything going for him. He doesn't have any money worries, he is good looking, he has talent, he has good grades, and the women flock all around him. He even has a chance at the Olympic qualifiers in men's
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Miyagi. Coming from Nolte, it was hard to take him seriously, because the whole time I couldn't get the image of his famous mugshot out of my head.

There were some good parts of the movie, like some cool visuals and the acting. The opening dream sequence in which Dan imagines his leg shattering into a bunch of pieces was an interesting way to start the movie. Nolte, Mechlowicz, and Smart played their parts well, but with Nolte constantly uttering his goofy philosophies, and Smart going in and out of the movie at random times (a post-note before the end credits finally reveal the purpose of her character, but by that time, you really don't care), the parts they were required to play were ridiculous.

I kept an open mind about Peaceful Warrior, but it in the end let me down. Unless you are a fan of the book, you will probably have the same confusion as me about wondering why they consider it a "true story." Heck…even 50 Cent's awful 2005 flick Get Rich or Die Tryin', which was inspired by the rapper's own true-life story, was more grounded in reality than this attempt to motivate audiences. It doesn't help that I also hated Salva's last "inspirational" movie, 1995's Powder (though I did like both of the Jeepers Creepers movies.) If you try to go and see the movie, remember what Socrates says, "No. Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." (Wait…maybe that was