Fast-Paised review: ‘Peaceful Warrior'

Based on a Dan Millman book, "Peaceful Warrior" stars Scott Mechlowicz as Dan, an arrogant college gymnast who learns from mysterious gas station attendant Socrates (Nick Nolte) that life is a journey, not a destination.

Big question: Does "Peaceful Warrior" provide more than just sound advice?

Skip it: It's a valuable message to learn to live in the moment, but the repetitive, fortune-cookie wisdom of "Peaceful Warrior" is delivered like a self-help book to the face.

Catch it: If you want to see the loud, chilling image of a gymnast's leg literally shattering into pieces. Ouch.

Bottom line: A thunderous score, slow-moving drama and lame dialogue ("Sometimes you have to lose your mind before you come to your senses.") still don't lend much gravity to a young man learning lessons that are simple at best. Socrates and his pal Joy (Amy Smart) are never fleshed out, and by the time Dan's mentor discusses his zillionth same-idea philosophy, you'll realize even actual therapy wouldn't be this monotonous.

Bonus: Hate household chores? Well, Socrates turns an everyday expression into a clear-your-head maxim: "Take out the trash."

Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.


'Peaceful Warrior'

Directed by Victor Salva; screenplay by Kevin Bernhardt, based on the novel "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior" by Dan Millman; cinematography by Sharone Meir; edited by Ed Marx; production design by Anthony Tremblay; produced by Mark Amin, Cami Winikoff, Robin Schorr and David Welch. A Lionsgate release; opens Friday. Running time: 2:00. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for sensuality, sex references and accident scenes).

Socrates - Nick Nolte

Dan Millman - Scott Mechlowicz

Joy - Amy Smart

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