A chance encounter with a stranger changes the life of a college gymnast.
- Dan Millman: Scott Mechlowicz
- Socrates: Nick Nolte
- Joy: Amy Smart
- Coach Garrick: Tim DeKay
- Tommy: Ashton Holmes
- Trevor: Paul Wesley
- Susye: Agnes Bruckner
- Kyle: B.J. Britt
- …: Tom Tarantini
- …: Beatrice Rosen
- …: Ray Wise
- Production Design: Bernt Amadeus Capra
- Director of Photography: Sharone Meir
- Director: Victor Salva
- Music: Bennett Salvay
- Editor: Ed Marx
- Producer: Mark Amin
- Set Decoration: Donald Elmblad
- Producer: Robin Schorr
- Producer: Cami Winikoff
- Screenplay: Kevin Bernhardt
- Novel: Dan Millman
- Sound Designer: Sebastian Arocha-Morton
- Supervising Sound Editor: Glenn T. Morgan
- Costume Design: Lynette Meyer
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Joe Barnett
- Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Mathew Waters
- Sound Mixer: Steven Morrow
- Sound Designer: Matthew Sordello
- Makeup Artist: Brigitte Hennech
- Sound Editor: Michael Mullane
- Sound Designer: Greg Townley
- Art Direction: Anton Tremblay
- Producer: David Welch
- Wuchak: _**Great bits of wisdom with contrivances**_
Based on Dan Millman’s hit 1980 book, “Peaceful Warrior” (2006) is reminiscent of “The Karate Kid” and “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” albeit with gymnastics substituting for martial arts.
It’s a worthwhile movie but a dad too formulaic and just seems to lack the necessary mojo to pull it out its pedestrian plotting.
Although I enjoyed the constant stream of wisdom that flowed from Nick Nolte’s character, “Socrates,” the film took a wrong turn with him almost immediately by implying that he had the power to instantaneously levitate 15 feet. From there it gets even weirder. I felt this took away from his character rather than make him more intriguing. Regardless, Nolte does a respectable job in the role and, again, I did enjoy his many gems of wisdom throughout. Some say his philosophies reflects a Buddhist mindset, but I saw Biblical Christianity. For instance:
* The stress on service and humility, i.e. servanthood.
* “Putting out the trash,” i.e. putting off the ‘old man’ (the flesh) and putting on the ‘new’ (the spirit).
* Random thoughts are not you but they can become you if you embrace them and allow them to control/lead you.
* Joy despite the mundane.
* Discerning the real spirit of others (in the compassionate sense, although sometimes for protection).
* Give to those who ask of you.
* Turning the cheek as one’s initial response to antagonism (but, keep in mind, you only have two cheeks, facially speaking).
And much more. These are axioms, universal truths that are true regardless of one’s lineage, culture or present belief system. It’s this aspect and the character of Socrates that make the film worthwhile.
Other than that, though, the plot mechanics are just too obvious. The viewer’s aware of the contrivances just as much as the peripheral actors, who struggle with the material because of it. But the main actors do a splendid job despite these negatives. Speaking of the actors, beauties Amy Smart and Agnes Bruckner are noticeably underused. (I watched the ‘deleted scenes’ and their screen-time was cut; the fools).
The film runs 2 hours and was shot in the areas of University of California, Berkeley, and USC, Los Angeles.