What makes us happy? Where does happiness come from? Why do we find it so hard to be happy at times? These are worthwhile questions. Honestly, I think this is a fairly widespread issue in our modern society.
This movie's approach to the problem is loaded with mysticism. Socrates (Nick Nolte) apparently has the power to influence the body and mind. The main character, Dan Millman (Scott Mechlowicz), is immediately intrigued when Socrates transports himself in an instant to the roof of a service station. Later both Socrates and a mysterious young woman named Joy (Amy Smart) are able to affect Dan's dreams. Using these abilities they teach him several important life lessons.
What are these lessons? That we will never find lasting happiness in possessions, success or other people. That we are happiest when we understand our purpose in life and pursue it. That our mind and heart influence us in ways we may not comprehend. No matter your spiritual background, this is wisdom you can probably appreciate in your own life.
Most would consider this very much a "New Age" movie. The powers that Socrates and Joy exhibit are never really explained. You could let this trouble you or you could accept that this is a work of fiction designed to entertain. The acting is interesting and the story works well enough. You may find the many unanswered questions vaguely unsatisfying. If you are a fan of gymnastics, you will appreciate several of the routines showcased in the movie.
Overall, the movie left me a little lukewarm. I found enough likeable about it to maintain my interest, but felt the mystical components were a little overdone.
Peaceful Warrior is rated PG-13 for sensuality, sex references and accident scenes. It is directed by Victor Salva and stars Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte and Amy Smart.