The Warrior (2001)
"Musa" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 9,908 users  
Reviews: 95 user | 37 critic

1375. Nine Koryo warriors, envoys exiled by Imperial China, battle to protect a Chinese Ming Princess from Mongolian troops.



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Credited cast:
Jin-mo Ju ...
Choi Jung
Princess Bu-yong (as Zhang Ziyi)
Yong-woo Park ...
Jeong-hak Park ...
Seok-yong Jeong ...
Du-il Lee ...
Yeong-mok Han ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Er Cha Huo ...
Ying Jie-na
Jae-ho Song
Rambulhua, Yuan General


In 1375, China was in chaos between Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty. Coryo (an ancient kingdom of Korea then) sent a delegation of many diplomats, soldiers and a silent slave to make peace with the new Chinese government. However, this delegation got charged as spies and sent in exile to a remote desert. On the way the group came across a Yuan troop, and the Coryo soldiers managed to survive the battle. They began the journey toward the faraway home country, where they met the Yuan troop again. When they found out the Yuan troop kidnapped a Ming princess, they decided to rescue her so that they could get a ship to go home. Then the battle began... Written by Stevie Cho <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

battle | china | princess | desert | korea | See All (39) »


We must go back to Koryo!


Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody battle sequences | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 September 2001 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

The Warrior  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


BND 8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During filming in China, Woo-sung Jung got knee-injury while shooting one of his fight scenes and had to stay behind after the Korean crew came back to Korea. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

4 April 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

I think it was nearly a year ago that I came across the website and first started anticipating the movie eagerly. The site contained lots of stills from the movie throughout, and every single one of them was utterly beautiful, like it had been painted to perfection rather than captured in motion. It seemed unreasonable to expect the whole movie to look that good, but I was pretty sure that it was going to be impressive. With so much anticipation and hope for a movie, it seems almost inevitable that you are going to be disappointed when you finally see it. All the more surprise then that MUSA meets and surpasses my expectations in every way!

First things first, yes... it really does look that good! All the way through . Like Zhang Yimou's SHANGHAI TRIAD, practically every frame is beautifully composed and rendered, and could easily hang on a gallery wall somewhere. There wasn't a single shot that I could imagine looking better than it did. The production design is incredible, the locations stunning, the special effects groundbreaking (the gore). I can't imagine how much time and money must have gone into its production, let alone talent and dedication.

MUSA is epic in the word's biggest sense - I couldn't help thinking of Homer's ILIAD and ODDYSEY in many parts, and those are basically the two stories that the word 'epic' was invented for. It makes Gladiator, Crouching Tiger etc look positively inconsequential. The movie is also made with an attention to detail that is remarkable. It is certainly the most convincing evocation of [relatively] ancient times that I have seen. You will really believe that you've been transported back to 400 something AD China, where Zhang Ziyi happens to be a princess and Yu Rong Guang a Mongol general. I really felt "Yes, this is what life was like back then. This is how things looked, this is how people behaved".

Despite the epic nature of the story, the central focus is always on a small-ish cast of characters, each of whom is very well conceived and developed throughout the movie's course. I'd guess there's about 15 major characters in the story, and a significant cast of minor characters. The performances are all superb - I'm pretty sure the actors themselves were quite convinced they really were their characters. The believability is enhanced by the costuming, makeup and I guess just good casting - all the different factions involved in the story totally look the part.

No epic would be complete without battle scenes, and MUSA has quite a few. These are all stunningly choreographed and filmed, not in a HK style like Bichunmoo, but in a completely real style. Beautifully shot of course, but the men fight like skilled soldiers really would (I'm sure), and get wounded/killed equally convincingly. The special effects of arrows and blades penetrating flesh are sometimes shockingly convincing. This might be disturbing to some, but it isn't played for titillation - it just adds to the gravity of the experience. It may be a little conspicuous that the heroes all manage to dispatch many times their own body weight in enemies, but you've got to give them *some* leeway for narrative convention .

There is a lot of planning involved in the battles, of a military nature, and this is also very convincing and fascinating. Almost as large a part of the process as the actual getting down to it with the weapons. A very believable insight into how battles were waged in the days when a bow & arrow was as hi-tech as weaponry got.

Hmmm... is there any aspect of the movie I haven't gushed praise over yet? A nod to the soundtrack I guess - good, very fitting. Sound effects in the battles are excellent. Ummm... and the lighting is really good too .

A cursory nod must be made to the films flaws as well though, lest I leave the reader with expectations of *total* perfection. The main flaw is that the movie wanders rather too far into melodrama & a little cliche towards the end. It would probably be kind of cheesy, except that it's all so well done you can't get too upset with it .

40 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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