Rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton command the screen as two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime in Lionsgate’s WARRIOR, a moving, inspirational action drama from acclaimed director Gavin O’Connor (MIRACLE). Haunted by a tragic past, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for SPARTA, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed. A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, WARRIOR is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family.
There has been many many films about fighting but none even come close to WARRIOR, what you get here is not just a film about Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) but also a film that’s personal, emotional and extremely powerful. WARRIOR manages to mix the best parts of every fight movie ever made into one extraordinary cinematic experience.
I may be talking this film up straight off the bat but honestly there’s nothing really like it, you can compare it to ‘Rocky’ and ‘The Fighter’ if you really want to, but this film just seemed to bring so much more into play it has the family drama, an alcoholic father, a family of four trying to get by, a son from a broken home who finds family in his marine comrades and they seamlessly meld all these difference facets into one storyline and make it so driven and real that every single person that sits in the theatre to watch WARRIOR at some point will find something to relate to.
The fighting itself is really a secondary part of the film, there’s just so much more to it but the fighting is by far the best I have seen in any movie, the main event in the film is the most intense 15 or so minutes that it basically gave me a headache, I was that invested into what’s going on, it felt like I was there and for a cinema that had 6 people in it we all gasped, cheered and looked away from the screen at the same time. Now that doesn’t happen very often!
Joel Edgerton plays the title role of Brendan Conlon he’s a family man, with a job as a Chemistry Teacher which sets up his character extremely well, he’s a thinker and he takes that to the ring, not like Tom Hardy who plays his brother Tommy who’s a marine and when he steps into the ring basically it’s on as soon as the bell sounds. Both Joel and Tom embodied these characters, Joel plays well as the family many as well as he does in the ring and with Tom, he bulked up and put on about 13kg’s of muscle for the role and it shows obviously he kept the weight on for his role as Bane in the upcoming ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ but still Tom’s career is definitely on the up and I expect to see a lot more from him. The absolute stand out in the entire film though is by far Nick Nolte, he plays the alcoholic father Paddy and every single moment when he is on screen the performance he gives is just sheer perfection and I totally expect him to get an Oscar nod next year and take it home.
WARRIOR is one of the best films of 2011 and I for one will be going to see it again opening day.
I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.