Warrior

2 Feb

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writers: Gavin O’Connor (screenplay), Anthony Tambakis (screenplay), and 3 more credits

Stars: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte and Joel Edgerton

Motion Picture Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 140 minutes

 

 

These are dark recessionary times that we live in. Some have to get in a cage to fight for the money to keep their houses and families. Some are fighting to release deep frustrations. Others seek cheap entertainment in watching the warriors do battle. It is not a coincidence that the popularity of mixed martial arts and cage fighting is growing and that a film such as Warrior is getting made and doing great business at the box office.

The warriors in question are estranged brothers Tommy (Tom Hardy) and Brendan (Joel Edgerton). They come from a dysfunctional working class family where Nick Nolte was the bullying and alcoholic father that broke the family apart 20 years earlier. All 3 characters are thrown back together in Atlantic City for a major cage fighting contest that the brothers have entered for very different reasons. Tommy is the ex marine with numerous demons. Brendan is the family man fighting to stave off bankruptcy. The brothers have not spoken for a long time, but look set to come to blows in the cage as the ‘war on the shore’ tournament plays out.

Whilst Warrior is very much a film for our times, and whilst the Atlantic City brotherly scrap is well signposted from the start, this is neither clichéd ridden nor mechanical. The film has a heart and delivers an emotional punch.  Hardy and Edgerton are well cast and Nolte does his usual red faced growling old guy routine. The fighting scenes are bone crunching at times, too much so for its certificate, and the film is just about the right length. And as a nod to the Rocky films there is a solid training montage, Brendan is an enormous underdog in all of his bouts, and there are ring side commentators in place to increase the hype.

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