Warrior, directed by Gavin O’Connor is a sports drams centred on mixed martial arts as the son of a former boxer is put through his paces, training in MMA and excelling at it, fast becoming renowned for his talent, he ends up clashing with his estranged older brother, the film stars Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo.
The film is a great character drama, driven by the differing lives and situations of the two brothers, Brendan (Joel Edgerton) and Tommy (Tom Hardy) and their relationship to their recovering alcoholic father Paddy (Nick Nolte), Tommy is a returning US marine who unintentionally gets attention drawn to himself after he enters the ring and shows his skills, he gets into MMA after learning about a $5,000,000 prize for the tournaments winner. While his brother, a high school physics teacher, Brendan is struggling to pay the bills and provide for his family, after being suspended from the school he takes in amateur fights for money and eventually works his way into MMA.
The characters relationships in the film are they key to it being such a great drama and the Conlon family is dysfunctional to say the least, the two brothers aren’t on good terms and the conflict between them is palpable, while the two of them in their own way are very driven individuals and focused on succeeding in their new dedication – MMA. And while the fight scenes are well done and great to watch, seeing the characters really dedicate their time to training and fighting is good, knowing the stakes that exist for them both and what the money could do for them, the story really has a good emotional payoff and is quite tense in some scenes, knowing either of them could do badly and get beaten, though you know Tommy probably won’t as he’s just a beast in the ring.
There are some pretty great performances in Warrior though, delivered by Edgerton and Hardy especially who really envelope their roles and seem quite dedicated, the both of them having trained extensively for months in real life to nail the moves and get the physique. And fittingly, the fights in the film are intense and in your face, with effective use of filming to importantly allow you to see everything that’s going on and not get a shaky-cam feel to the action, you feel every hit and get close ups of characters after they get hit, emphasizing the physicality and intensity of the sport. Also the plot develops in an engaging way, being slightly unbelievable with Tommy just blazing past everyone but you really want to see how things pan out and who wins the tournament, Brendan and Tommys’ final fight is a great emotional pay off and nudges the film to a satisfying emotional crescendo and conclusion Warrior overall is a great drama with brilliant performances, a captivating story shot well which is engaging from the offset.
. Intense performances from Hardy, Edgerton
. Great fight scenes
. Interesting story