This inner-truth drama is drawn from Dan Millman's "Way of the Peaceful Warrior." Unhappily, this semi-biographical adaptation, released wider nearly a year later after its distribution may still only appeal to the few really willing to enter its emotional domain.
Victor Salva, the notorious director of Jeepers Creepers has a white-maned Nick Nolte paired with Scott Mechlowicz in this very measured message picture. Perhaps the themes involve a cleansing of the mind and body as Mechlowicz's Dan, an intense college gymnast meets up with Nolte's mysterious gas station attendant. Dan isn't pleased with the kind of baptism that arcane old "Yoda-like" guy provides for him.
The portrait of Dan's aspirations through vaulting and on the rings is staged along with his relations with teammates, girlfriend, coach, and the ruminations of making the present count that will make one fit, inside and out.
Unfortunately, in spite of the best of intentions of all involved, Peaceful Warrior is hardly convincing, a journey waiting for a real shot of adrenaline, though Nolte is his usual watchable self. In the key gymnastic routines, it's obvious that Mechlowicz isn't doing the jumping and swinging, but certain close-ups of him augment the inability to make the internalization something real for an audience willing to connect with the gusto Dan is yearning for.