Incredible Gangster Drama Drops on Netflix with 93% Rotten Tomatoes Score

Incredible Gangster Drama Drops on Netflix with 93% Rotten Tomatoes Score
Image credit: Cinemax

We can only hope that Netflix will give the green light to renew the series.


  • In early February, Netflix added a new series, Warrior, to its library.
  • Developed by co-creator Banshee and based on the work of Bruce Lee, the show delivers an effective story that combines gangster drama, Hong Kong action movies and westerns.
  • The series has been incredibly well received by audiences and critics alike, and as such, many are counting on Warrior's resurrection.

Last week, the Netflix library was updated with a new series that is sure to please all fans of martial arts dramas. We're talking about an underrated series called Warrior that first aired on Cinemax, then HBO Max, and now, after its disappointing cancellation, has moved to Netflix. Who knows, maybe the series has finally found a permanent home and the service will be able to greenlight more seasons given the show's growing popularity?

The series is based on the idea of none other than the legendary Bruce Lee. And while Warrior is more of a niche show, the news of its sudden cancellation has shocked fans, who are now trying to get it renewed. Their efforts are worth supporting, as this is truly one of the most original shows, with no small amount of love put in by the cast and crew.

Period Piece Based on Bruce Lee's Concept

Warrior is hard to describe in just a few words. Banshee meets Game of Thrones, meets Gangs of New York and Peaky Blinders, meets the Chinese Wuxia genre, meets the Western genre, and even the police procedural. Yes, it's a wild mashup that works surprisingly well, providing a dynamic and memorable setting with colorful characters.

The viewer gets a Hong Kong action movie, with many scenes clearly referencing Park Chan-wook's Oldboy, a Western, a political thriller, and even a parable with an anti-racist and feminist stent.

Created by Jonathan Tropper (Banshee) and executive produced by Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and Justin Lin (Fast & Furious), the series follows Ah Sahm (Andrew Koji), a Chinese martial arts prodigy who travels to 1870s San Francisco in search of his sister. During his quest, he becomes embroiled in the conflicts of the 1870s Tong gang, while the backdrop of the gang wars is the rise of racist anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, provoked by both corrupt politicians who profit from the conflicts and Irish workers whose labor went unrecognized by the capitalists developing the infrastructure of the Wild West.

Season-To-Season Improvement in Ratings and Quality

Warrior has garnered increasingly rave reviews. Season 1, for example, received a 79% rating from critics and a 95% rating from viewers. Season 2 received a perfect 100% from critics and a consistent 95% from viewers. Season 3 brought even more excitement with 100% and 98% respectively. Overall, the Rotten Tomatoes score was an impressive 93%.

The improvement in quality is noticeable with each episode. The first episode or two can be a bit of a drag. But the pacing gets much more vibrant in subsequent episodes.

This applies not only to the writing, but also to the technical side, including directing, visual effects, and editing. The first episodes with their abundance of not always on-point slow-mo and close-ups resemble a production of the late 00s and early 10s. However, the absolute highlight of the first season was a chamber episode in the spirit of Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, in which the main characters, Ah Sahm and Young Jun (Jason Tobin), after surviving a bloody night in a saloon, put on cowboy hats and rode into the sunset on horseback.

The technical and narrative elements had already improved by the second season, and the third one became almost the most epic on television in 2023: a wedding ceremony sequence alone is worth mentioning, as this episode not only replicated Game of Thrones' Red Wedding, but offered an equally breathtaking scenario, adorned with some unforgettable costumes.

Combining elements of Hong Kong martial movies with Westerns, Warrior offers a spectacular story that would have pleased Bruce Lee himself.