Archive for the ‘Warrior’ Category

Warrior – review


Warrior came out at a very bad time, just months after The Fighter was released, which went on to win a few Academy Awards.  During that time a lot of people probably avoided what seemed like a complete knock off.  A knock off of it is not though, and it actually is one of the better films that came out in the early part of this year. 

Much like The FighterWarrior stars two brothers who are fighters.  They’re mixed martial arts fighters though, not boxers.  Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) plays Tommy Riodran, brother #1.  Tommy is a marine who comes back home to train, and get in the ring as an MMA fighter.  This dude is a beast.  I mean I was scared that he would come through the screen and beat the living daylights out of me.  He destroys everything in his path.  Tommy has a lot of demons though, and they get exercised in the ring.

Joel Edgarton plays Tommy’s brother Brendan Conley.  He’s a one time UFC fighter that traded in the ring, for a family and a teaching job at a school.  Only problem is the teaching job doesn’t pay the bills, so secretly he starts fighting at a local level for some extra cash…that is till he gets a beating that he can’t hide from the principal.  Soon his job is on the line.

Tommy uses his mother’s maiden name because he can’t stand his drunk of a father Paddy, played by Nick Nolte, who gives one of his finest performances ever.  Paddy gave up the booze almost 1000 days prior to Tommy attempting to enlist his help, in training him to take the ring again.  Paddy always was a great trainer, but Tommy lets it be known that is all he wants from him.  He’s dead to him as a father.  It seems Brendan feels the same way.  Paddy tries to reconnect with his boys through his sobriety, but it may be to late.  It seems there also may be some bad blood between the two brothers as well, because they haven’t spoken in years.

Things start to get really interesting as it’s announced that a 16 man free-for-all MMA competition will be taking place, and wouldn’t you know that both Tommy and Brendan find a way in to the tourney, which has some of the most badass MMA fighters out there.

Now don’t get me wrong.  A lot of what you see in Warrior, you’ve seen before.  It’s hard to do a sports movie, let alone a fighting/karate/boxing movie different nowadays.  It’s been done to perfection.  Don’t expect the film to deviate too far from the formula, but…that’s kind of what makes it so appealing.

What is different, and what sets the film apart from lots of films in that genre is this relationship between the two brothers and their father.  It’s fractured, but we don’t really know exactly why.  The weight of it all hangs over the entire movie. There is some really sad, heart-felt moments going on, and the actors are so good and bringing you in to those moments, and making you understand them.  Hardy, Edgarton, and especially Nolte just bring this whole thing together.

You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  You’ll sure as hell be entertained.

Grade: B+