Ramascreen delivers us another movie review. In this corner we have the Warrior review. Please make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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WARRIOR is a triumph! An absolute Triumph! It’s the Rocky for this generation mainly because this generation is big on MMA, they’re not crazy about boxing anymore and WARRIOR is the perfect movie for that exact need. If you’d never heard of Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, you’re going to remember them after this movie, this is the gig that will shoot them into stardom, even before THE THING prequel and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES arrive.
Keep in mind that WARRIOR is not an MMA movie, it’s a family drama with MMA setting but the MMA aspect is authentic, accurate and respectful, the fans will not be insulted by this depiction and they won’t be overwhelmed by the drama as well.
One of the best movies of 2011..
An ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) returns to hishometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his father, a recovered alcoholic and his former coach, to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan, (Joel Edgerton) a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family after being suspended from his day job. Even though years have passed, recriminations and betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father.
But when Brendan’s unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.
I’m glad writer/director Gavin O’Connor, who brought us the sports drama, Miracle, took his time, for almost even a year, to post-work on Warrior because it’s clear that the movie seems personal and there’s much careful attention. I enjoy the build up, I enjoy the explosive confrontations between the characters, you can tell it’s a hurt that’s been hurting for decades and the sons played by Edgerton and Hardy have a hard time letting that rage go as long as their abusive alcoholic dad, played by the great Nick Nolte, is still around for them to lash their anger out on. And the brothers themselves have a bone to pick with each other because one feels the other neglected him when they were both young.
Ya know how some family members would just have to try to tolerate each other because they need their help to a certain point, that’s what makes WARRIOR easy for people to relate to. Everyone has that type within their families, people they can’t stand but they’re just going to have to learn to live with somehow.
Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are both foreign actors but they go above and beyond to sound convincing as far as accent and dialect go, but what’s most impressive is the physical challenges that they have to experienced just for these roles because actingwise, both Edgerton and Hardy already have it down pat. Hardy is fearless and Edgerton is undeterred.
Hardy’s character Tommy is like a beast, a force to reckon with and he can knock you out with a single punch to the face. Edgerton’s character, Brendan is the physics teacher/family man, much calmer but both boys are stubborn, they have so much to fight for and their motivations and their reasons for entering the ring are both justified. So that’s another thing that makes this movie even more engaging, audiences wouldn’t know which side to root for because both fighters aren’t bad guys, they’re both charismatic in their own way.
I can’t say enough to praise the great Nick Nolte, that man is a legend, a national treasure and his role in WARRIOR is his best work yet.
WARRIOR is about forgiveness, one of the most difficult things to do. Can forgiveness be found in a world as rough, as testosterone, as violent, as MMA world?! I think that’s the question that this film tries to tackle and it does a fine job of doing so without tapping.
GRADE: 5 out of 5
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