Blue Collar Guru
Starring: Nick Nolte, Scott Meclowicz,
Amy Smart, Tim Dekay, Paul
Wesley, and Ashton Holmes
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 121 minutes
Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Director: Victor Salva
Executive Producer: Mike Elliott, Andrew Reimer,
Oliver Hengst, Bill Johnson,
Jim Seibel, and Ernst-August
Producer: Mark Amin, Cami Winkoff, Robin
Schorr, and David Welch
Writer: Kevin Bernhardt
Address Comments To:Tom Ortenberg, President
Lions Gate Releasing
2700 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 449-9200
Fax: (310) 255-3870
Based on a best-selling book, the movie opens with a dream sequence. Young college gymnast Dan Millman dreams that he shatters his leg, which breaks into a thousand plastic jigsaw pieces. In the dream, a janitor with two mismatched shoes sweeps up the pieces of Dan's leg.
Upset, Dan leaves the girl lying in bed next to him to go jogging. He stops at a gas station, where he encounters a mysterious gray-haired attendant who has on the same pair of shoes that the janitor in Dan's dream wears.
Dan becomes intrigued by the attendant, who spouts New Age aphorisms like "wisdom is in doing" and who seems to be able to slow down time and suddenly materialize atop the gas station's roof. Dan jokingly calls the man "Socrates," but eventually becomes perturbed by the man's mystical advice. When Dan suffers a terrible motorcycle accident, however, he returns to Socrates and his New Age training in order to heal his shattered body and compete for a chance at the Olympics.
PEACEFUL WARRIOR is able to hold the viewer's interest, but the protagonist is a distasteful playboy whose main battles are against himself. Thus, the movie is not as dramatically compelling as it should be. Some of the movie's New Age teachings are not necessarily offensive in and of themselves. For example, at one point, Socrates points to Dan's forehead and says, "The trash is up here." Taken out of context, this statement can be applied in good ways. After all, a bad mental attitude can indeed lead to bad things, including immoral behavior. Within the context of the movie's mystical New Age worldview, however, the statement suggests to viewers to let go of their attachment to mundane thoughts that limit them and adopt nominalistic New Age thoughts that will let them become one with the universe and its mystical flow.
To put this in a Christian perspective, when Jesus tells us to live in the present and not worry about the future, He is also telling us, among other things, to cast our worries upon God. When, however, a New Age philosopher tells people to live in the present moment, he is also telling them to let go of their mental faculties so that they can achieve unconscious enlightenment apart from God. This New Age philosophy is what PEACEFUL WARRIOR ultimately teaches.
To sum up, therefore, PEACEFUL WARRIOR has a dangerous, abhorrent New Age pagan worldview that can lead people away from their true Savior, Jesus Christ. The movie also contains foul language and doesn't give any moral reasons for why Dan's playboy lifestyle to sleep with every pretty girl around is wrong.
PEACEFUL WARRIOR is able to hold the viewer's interest, but the protagonist is a distasteful playboy whose main battles are against himself. Thus, the movie is not as compelling as it could be. Some of the New Age teachings are not necessarily offensive, when taken out of context as simple proverbs, but the movie's worldview gives them an abhorrent, amoral context. PEACEFUL WARRIOR also contains foul language and sexual content.