Review: Warrior (2011)

“You talking about Sparta? Brendan, please. You got a better chance of starting a boy band.”

Warrior is a mixed martial arts action film. It stars Tom Hardy (Inception), Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom), Jennifer Morrison (House), Frank Grillo (Prison Break) and Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder). The film is directed by Gavin O’Connor (Pride and Glory).

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.

Now, if you’ve happen to of see The Fighter, Million Dollar Baby or any Rocky film then the chance is you have seen Warrior. It’s certainly the most cliché film you will ever see this year. But this isn’t a bad thing. Yes its a film you’ve seen hundreds of times and its familiar but sometimes thats what you want to see.

Tom Hardy is clearly a man who is just about to break the ‘megastar’ level of actors, especially once Dark Knight Rises comes out. He is also, as we can see, a very dedicated actor. A man who’s in top fitness to bulk up like he has for Warrior. I’d say only Christian Bale rivals him in that game. Now, he looks the part but can he act it? Of course he can! Tom Hardy is a fine actor and his portrayal of the damaged, reclusive Tommy Conlon who is fighting for his country as it seems.

Joel Edgerton, who was in the brilliant Animal Kingdom plays the brother of Tommy, Brendan Conlon. This is a decent role and a good vehicle to propel Edgerton’s career into more mainstream films. His character is the cliché, ‘struggling teacher making payments on his house-about to go bankrupt-keeping a family safe-having multiple jobs-but can only get the money by fighting’. Standard really. But with Edgerton it feels believable and you really root for him and his journey.

The fighting sequences and set-pieces are done really well, I mean i’m not the biggest fan of fighting films – let alone wrestling types but I was impressed by the athletic nature of the actors in Warrior. It’s clear to see that it was a dedicated cast.

I found Warrior to be very entertaining if not incredibly predictable. It’s adds nothing new to the fighting genre but simply strengthens the titles within. It has a lot of heart and emotional not to mention the ending is fantastic.

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