The Warrior's Gate online movie review - Best viewed as Forbidden Kingdom -- Lite
The word on the street was that this was a riff on one of my all-time favorite films, Forbidden Kingdom 2008, so I could not resist checking it out.
(Word to the wise, if you have not already seen FK, and you like MMA and/or Wushu and/or Fantasy and/or Adventure, check it out. FK has humble beginnings, features two of the greatest cinematic martial artists of all time - Jackie Chan and Jet Li -- a killer script, great scenery, and solid performances. Some reviewers, including this one, think it is one of the best of its kind ever done.)
Let's start with what Warriors Gate was intended to be, and work from that.
The production team clearly thought they would "improve" on FK by adding more "teen humor." Presumably they also felt this would more than compensate for the film's considerably lighter "feel" and the awkward void formed by not having ANY famous film martial artists at all.
Also, Forbidden Kingdom had a certain edge of malice and unpredictability in the script which, oddly, only increased its impact and its fan base. This film lacks those features as well and, on its best day in its best suit, comes across more as "Forbidden Kingdom Lite," or perhaps even a Disney knockoff of the original.
Which is not to say it is not worth a watch. A lot of effort was put into the humor aspect (as explained above) and this does keep things moving along.
(For example -- if you are film buff, you will remember fondly the famous tag line from Airplane 1980 - "Don't call me Shirley" which became a sort of iconic inside joke for years afterwards. This script contains a number of attempts to mimic that sort of dialog, my favorite being -- "KILL HIM! -- slashing noise -- "NO, NOT HIM. HIM.")
Bottom Line: One hour and 45 minutes of reasonable entertainment. However, it suffers from the "curse" common to all knock-offs. Unless you see the original, you will never know what you are missing.