DIR: Gavin O’Connor • WRI: Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorfman PRO: Greg O’Connor • DOP: Masanobu Takayanagi • ED: Sean Albertson, Matt Chesse, John Gilroy, Aaron Marshall • DES: Dan Leigh • CAST: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton
Plot synopsis for The Fighter; aging boxer with family problems, particularly with his drug using brother, decides to give it all one last shot for the big time.
Plot synopsis for Warrior; aging boxer (who also kicks) with family problems, particularly with his drug using brother, decides to give it all one last shot for the big time.
It is unfortunate that Warrior is released in the same year as the Oscar®-nominated The Fighter, as some more distance between the two might have resulted in the US Box Office responding with more than a resounding ‘Meh’. But if you can get past the similarities, you will discover another highly enjoyable movie filled with powerhouse performances.
Joel Edgarton is Brendan, a science teacher who is about to lose his house due to money issues, so he starts taking up illegal wrestling matches on the side, and winning them all. Soon he is back in the gym, and due to a series coincidences, he is on the fast track to a Mixed Martial Arts World Championship. Tom Hardy is Brendan’s brother Tommy, who returns home from Iraq to train with his former alcoholic, abusive father Paddy (Nick Nolte). Tommy is a being of pure rage, and under his father’s training, he too is heading to the MMA Championship. Brendan and Tommy haven’t spoken in over a decade, ever since Brendan ran from their abusive home, but they are about to be reunited in the ring.
The performances are universally brilliant, with special note to Tom Hardy who manages to portray barely contained anger and highly supressed fragility all while saying very little and looking like those guys on the front of Steroids Monthly magazine. The fight scenes themselves are visceral and real, but with the 12A rating, rather bloodless.
So all in all, is it better than The Fighter? No, probably not. But there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy two brilliant movies about fighting and family this year.
Rated 12A (see IFCO website for details)
Warrior is released on 23rd September 2011