Nomad: The Warrior (2006)

Genre(s): Drama / History / War
Weinstein Company || R - 111 minutes - $19.95 || July 24, 2007
Reviewer: Elyusha Vafaeisefat || Posted On: 2007-08-01


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Sergei Bodrov, Ivan Passer
Writer(s): Rustam Ibragimbekov
Cast: Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez


Theatrical Release Date: March 30, 2007


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:

    None


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Kazakh (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

These days, unfortunately, when one mentions Kazakhstan, most people cannot think of anything more than Borat thanks to the antics that are associated with his character and the film. Equally as unfortunate, those same people may not even know that Kazakhstan is in fact a real country with a real and very rich history. Directors Sergei Bodrov, Ivan Passer and screenwriter Rustam Ibragimbekov attempt to tell the story of the nomadic tribes in this historical epic set in 18th-century Kazakhstan.

From what I have gathered, the film has gone through several major changes and re-edits over the course of its filming. Nomad actually went into production on 2003 and didn't get a theatrical release until late last year. In most cases, a delayed film usually means a lackluster product that the studios are afraid to release and sadly Nomad is no exception. Apparently, the first director, Ivan Passer was replaced by Bodrov after the Weinstein Brothers purchased the movie. The Weinstein's wanted to re-shoot the film with more emphasis on battle scenes and more development of a love story. As a result, this film is nothing more than a $40 million waste of money.

There is absolutely no focus whatsoever over the course of the film and that obviously has to do with the fact that the film has had two directors and two cinematographers as well as pressure from the Weinstein Brothers to ensure they get what they want. The consequence of the re-shoots and edits is a 110 minute film that has no energy whatsoever. The film follows two friends, Mansur and Erali and they train and attempt to unite the Kazakh tribes in order to be a strong united country. Western actors Kuno Becker and Jay Hernandez assume the roles of Mansur and Erali respectively. What boggles my mind the most is why the cast was not made up of all Kazakhs. In the past, Hollywood films attempt to tell stories of other countries by incorporating a western actor so that American audiences will not be turned away by the story. We've seen this in films like The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise and Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner. What makes these films different is the fact that Costner and Cruise were A-list actors who were big box office draws at the time so the casting made sense from a financial standpoint. In Nomad, actors such as Hernandez, Becker, Jason Scott Lee and Mark Dacascos are all second or third rate actors at best that not many people know so I was very confused as to why they were cast. All they do is distract the viewer because we know they are pretty much the only ones who do not speak the language and are dubbed over. I think the film would have benefited much more with an all Kazakh cast to tell the story much like we've seen in recent films like Letters From Iwo Jima and Days of Glory.

All that aside, there are some good aspects of the film. Almost everyone who has seen it has rightfully gushed over the scenery and very well done cinematography Dan Laustsen and Ueli Steiger put together. Equally as impressive is the score by veteran composer Carlo Siliotto. The combination of the music and scenery definitely make the film watchable over the 1 hour and 50 minutes the film runs for.

I have also read reports that the original cut of the film is 150 minutes or so which would be interesting to see. I am not so sure if an extra 40 minutes or so would drastically change the film in any way. I think more stories from this region need to be told and I was excited at first to see a film some from such a unique part of the world and tell a story that the vast majority of us do not know. It is no doubt sad to see $40 million wasted on a film and story that could have been grand but instead is just a monumental mess.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

None



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

The film is presented in English 5.1 as well as an option for Kazakh also in 5.1. The audio is solid throughout and the score, which is one of the few highlights of the film, comes off very well although I felt the sound lacked any excitement that one usually associates with film so of this nature.

In terms of video, the film in an Anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The films scenery, the other highlight of the film, comes off very well.



.::OVERALL::.

Regrettably, the lack of enthusiasm and quality the film possesses also went into the DVD package. There aren't any special features to be found on this disc which is unfortunate because it would have been nice to see some behind the scenes footage or maybe commentary from someone associated with the film. Perhaps they are saving it all for some "Ultimate 2 Disc Extended Cut Edition" they plan to release in the future, I don't know. The film's cover art looks a great deal like the 300 packaging in terms of the style. I don't like to use the word "rip-off" very often but let's just say it would be appropriate in this case. The quote on the back also says that this film "shows shades of Ridley Scott's Gladiator." among other films. As average and lackluster as 300 was, Nomad definitely does not even match 300 in terms of entertainment and is about 3 light-years away from being 1/10 as good as Gladiator is.