February 25, 2012
"Warrior" is about two "Rocky"s in one movie set in the rough world of Mixed Martial Arts. Tommy Reardon (Tom Hardy) is a guilt-ridden war hero who wants to help the widow of a dear friend who died in battle. Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton) is a high school physics teacher who is about to be evicted from his house. The movie follows their training and winning matches en route to the inevitable finale at the big-time Sparta Tournament. We also get a peek into their troubled family lives which paints a more dramatic background to the main sports story.
I am sucker for movies about brothers. There was "A River Runs Through It," "The Mambo Kings," "The Fighter," and now "Warrior" is another one. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton don't really look like brothers, but both look credible in their roles as mixed martial artists. Hardy has that brooding aggressiveness on him. Edgerton has the more underdog role. Nick Nolte shines as the absentee drunkard father who is trying his best to reform, but is still facing rejection. Nolte is now rewarded with an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
The story takes its time in the beginning, but you will be hooked once the competitions begin. You will definitely want to know who wins in the end and how. The action in this movie is very realistic. Choreography is not evident as everything seems to be happening in actuality. We are brought to ringside seats to see this extremely strenuous sport up close. A sad and brutal masterpiece, you will be moved to tears.