As gutting as it was when many of us learned that Cinemax would be axing its original programming from its slate, it was a pill we all had to swallow. The good news, however, is that while Gangs Of London has a new home, the HBO network subsidiary is still taking to fans of their hit series, Warrior, with the promise of a TV and MaxGo.com October premiere date for the second season.
Here’s the gist of it:
The series follows Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji), a martial arts prodigy who emigrates from China to San Francisco under mysterious circumstances. After proving his worth as a fighter, Ah Sahm becomes a hatchet man for the Hop Wei, one of Chinatown’s most powerful Tongs (Chinese organized crime family). Season two follows rival Chinatown Tongs as they fight for dominance amidst the growing anti-Chinese fervor that threatens to destroy them all.Cinemax press release
Season one was as explosive as it gets, with Koji debuting the character of Ah Sahm in strong fashion opposite Joe Taslim, Olivia Cheng, Dianne Doan, Dean Jagger, Perry Yung, Rich Ting and Dustin Nguyen among the roster.
The action itself was a delight to watch, handled with temerity and brilliance by Brett Chan and his excellent stunt team, and all taking many a page from the writings of Bruce Lee, who would have headined his own take on the show years earlier were it not for duplicitous studio politics.
If there was ever a martial arts television series with fan service that does its audience as much justice as it does the source material to any extent, Warrior is definitely it. It’s preposterous that Cinemax would cut the show off at two seasons, and so one can only hope that there’s a third in our midst.
Of course, there’s also next year’s release of G.I. Joe Origins: Snake Eyes next year from Paramount which will eventually be Koji’s premiere mainstream outing as the villain opposite Henry Golding in the title role. And provided we in the states make some damn progress with the current pandemic, I sincerely hope we get a teaser for that one soon.
Warrior is created and executive produced by Jonathan Tropper, Justin Lin and Shannon Lee, along with Brad Kane and Richard Sharkey, with Kenneth Lin, Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard co-exec producing. New season two series regulars include the aforementioned Dustin Nguyen (who also directed episode 6), as well as Chen Tang (Mulan), Miranda Raison (Artemis Fowl) and Maria Elena Laas (Vida).David Bloomer/Cinemax
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.