Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Looking for a good fighting movie with a bit of family drama thrown in to enhance the story?

The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother.

Who's In It
Tom Hardy - a bit of practice before playing Bane
Joel Edgerton - This Aussie actor getting into some bigger roles
Nick Nolte - providing a great supporting role
Bryan Callen! The police captain from the TV series Death Valley, this guy is hilarious! A ring side presenter in Warrior

What I Thought
I wasn't sure what to expect from this mixed martial arts (MMA) movie about two brothers fighting each other but I can say Warrior is a surprisingly good watch.

It's not just the fighting, there are a few under current stories running in conjunction here. There's a father who used to be a drunk and Hardy's character bears some serious resentment towards him for something that happened to his mother when he was young. It also becomes apparent that Hardy's character was somehow wrapped up in the Gulf War and something happened there that explains his being back in the U.S. There's also a girl and her son that's woven into his back story.

Edgerton, who is Hardy's brother, is a physics teacher and is in serious need of the fight bounty to keep the roof over his families head. The sibling brothers also have some past issues that will need to be resolved.

Brotherly love (not)
The film is basically broken into two parts, the first part being the intertwined back stories of the two brothers and the second being the fighting competition, called Sparta, an organised MMA fight for a $5 million prize. The two parts are broken up by a lengthy montagé that shows both brothers training for the competition. It's reminiscent of Rocky and is filmed in a 24 style with multiple scenes being shown at the same time. It works well and speeds up the timeline of the movie for the fighting.

The final fight is a set of bouts whereby each fighter is knocked out through a process of elimination following the rules of MMA. All the fight styles are different and Hardy character is a brute and violent and quick. He looks  imposing ahead of his role as Bane in the upcoming finalĂ© in Batman trilogy.

I like to think that I can read a movie and predict the end but this one threw me. It's not hard to see where it was going after it all happens, I just kept thinking one thing was going to happen and then it played out differently. And it did this a number of times. The last fight opens with a salvo of punches and a rush of sound, and then ending was for me, poignant and unexpected.

Nolte is excellent as the father of the two, could his voice be anymore gravely? Fighting demons of his own like the audio books he listens to of Moby Dick and Captain Ahab.

It's all brilliantly thought out.

Memorable Quotes
  • "The devil you know is ..."
    "... better than the devil you don't."
  • "I think I liked you better when you were a drunk." 
  • "C'mon, it's not as bad as it looks."
    "Are you being literal or figurative? Because literally it looks bad. And figuratively it looks even worse."
  • Lock up the china because the boys are at it again!
4/5 - Warrior is a surprisingly good fighting movie with a story


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