Celebrating Javier Navarrete’s Patchwork Score for “The Warrior’s Way”

Celebrating Javier Navarrete’s Patchwork Score for “The Warrior’s Way” November 17, 2015

Fun Susanka Fact o’ the Day:

I have (and have always had) an inordinate soft spot for mashups and homages, especially when it comes to movies and music. I love the little “Ah-HAH!” moment that comes from recognizing something you’ve seen somewhere else; the little thrill of being “on the inside,” a knowing part of the Intellegentia.

I’m not at all sure this is a good thing, to be honest. But it’s a true thing. And it’s also helpful in explaining a whole host of pop-cultural phenomenon in my life. Like why I haven’t dropped the maddening Quentin Tarantino by now, why I love Kirby Ferguson’s wonderful Everything is a Remix series so much, and (hopefully) why I stuck with “Psych” so much longer than it deserved.

I know it’s why I so enjoy Javier Navarrete’s (brilliant!) score for the (insane!) The Warrior’s Way, though. So insanity; such homaging. And so much frustration over the fact that it’s super-duper hard to find in a shareable form online. (For those who recognize Navarrete’s name, he’s is the musical mastermind behind the haunting score to Pan’s Labyrinth.)

Imagine how vastly my (or anyone’s) day would be improved by a teeth-rattling, eardrum-shaking blast of Leone-esque, Sailor’s Hornpipin’ delirium. Instead, I’ve had to settle for this unofficial YouTube version that snips off a bit of the hornpipe (which makes me sad) but is still plenty ear-shakin’ (which makes me happy). Wait for the clear Morricone references right ’round the 4-minute mark. And again at 5:15, when it practically screams — OK, twangs — “Spaghetti Western!!!” in your face. Plus, there’s a drum/bell/hammer-type solo that pops up out of nowhere right before the end.

Weird-awesome, right? Plus, with a bit of fine-tooth-combing on YouTube, I found a few bonus audio samples: here and here.

The film itself was streaming on Netflix when I saw it, and is on YOUTUBE($) right now. But I’m hesitant to recommend it without reservation. It’s the most bizarre, unpredictable, baffling combination of Western tropes and Wuxia wire work I’ve seen in quite some time/ever. It’s also super violent, though that is somewhat mitigated by the wire work.

It does have Geoffrey Rush, though. And some absurdly fun action sequences. And a wonderful, mustache-twirling Danny Huston, who…doesn’t actually have a mustache. But the metaphorical mustachio-twirling is awesome, all the same. (Maybe even more awesome, since it’s so metaphorical).

Samurai on horseback” (source) is licensed under Public Domain via Wiki Commons.

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