Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Warrior Film Review – MMA Movie

Two estranged brothers run into very hard times. Each brother has very different problems but their path to recovery is the same. They both enter into a championship mixed martial arts event. Ultimately, they must fight each other for the title and the winner-take-all prize.

When I first heard of this mixed martial arts genre film I thought is was going to be another shallow, violent, fight flick. I was thinking along the lines of "Bloodsport" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Bloody and predictable. The underdog good guy enters into some seedy, underground world of fighting, a friend gets killed, and the underdog goes on to win the title, the girl and gets revenge for his fallen buddy.

Warrior is not that kind of film. For an MMA movie it really was not violent in any disturbing way. There is no revenge motive. The characters are developed wonderfully and the acting is terrific.

The surprise of the film is Nick Nolte. Nolte gives one of the best performances I've seen from him in a long time. He plays a former alcoholic, abusive father who is now worn-down with age and remorseful. In some ways he is a sympathetic character but not too sympathetic. You can still sense the devil deep down inside him.

Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy play two brothers (Brendan Conlon and Tommy Conlon respectively) destined to fight each other in the final match. Both of them are terrific. They play completely different roles that compliment each other's acting style, characters and the script  perfectly.

The first half of the film is terrific. There is great tension and an interesting story to boot without resorting to violence. The plot unfolds nicely without the usual cliche found in this sort of film. I was really expecting some sort of cheesy heroics at the start of the film that would prove the toughness and deservidness of the lead characters. No one uses their MMA skills to make a stop a bully or thwart a robbery. It was refreshing to see that all the fighting was saved for the ring.

The second half of the film consists of fighting, family squabbles and reconciliation between rounds. Fun to watch but entirely too predictable. Unfortunately, it seems every movie needs a villain. Warrior could have broken the mold by making both brothers more sympathetic in the final fight. No bad-guy is needed in this film. Sadly, in the fight finale one brother is clearly vilified (cheap shots, etc) and the other is made out to be the good-guy. There was no doubt who the film wanted you to root for and who would win.

I still highly recommend Warrior. It lacks a stunning ending but it is a great story along the way. Check it out.



140 Minutes

More Reviews By TurtleDog

Is The Fight in Rise Of Planet of The Apes Worth Watching?

New York College Grad, Unappreciated By Men, Not Sure Where to Begin in Life - Sound Like a Good Movie To You? It Might Be.....

No comments:

Post a Comment