on 18 January 2012
I love Gavin O' Connor films, this guys directs and writes this stunning, moving and brutal family sports drama and he blends all together a good sports movie and a moving drama together so well, just like he did with his police drama "Pride and Glory". Tom Hardy is the next big thing, this guy is going places and I can't wait to see his performance in Batman next year.
But as for this, he is truly outstanding, this is without a doubt Tom Hardy second best peformance in his career (first being Inception) and he is really worthy of a Oscar win or nomination for his portrayal of "Tommy", the role is almost silent role, he has speaking roles but this role requires parts of the emotion to feed through facial expressions, etc and Tom pulls a hard punch. The Best Supporting Actor award for this year so far is going to Nick Nolte who portrays the father "Paddy", he portrays such strong emotion that is hard not to be moved, when we see him in a particular scene in a hotel room drunk, we know that part is coming at some point and when it does, its breathtaking.
When he begins walking over to "Tommy" at the door, it can be portrayed a a frightening thing, because of his past and how he is acting. It's such a strong and emotionally driven role and he hits it right on the nail.Joel Edgerton portrays "Brendan" a family man who is at the end of a rope to support his family, I have to say whilst Joel gives a good performance as a man at his wits end and is desperate, Joel's performance is the weakess in the film, I'm not saying he is terrible, hell no, he has some cracking scenes such as the end fight and his confrontation of his father on the front lawn.
But the thing Joel's performance lacks is emotion. He gets the desperation and troubled life right but he lacks the emotional grip that is required for the role. But the film in general is outstanding and even though its been disapointing at the box office it's a strong film that is deserves recognition at the Academy Awards 2012.
on 4 July 2014
I watched this last night for the second time and still ended up in tears. There are two parts in this movie that just have me floored, its quite impressive because usually I can remain composed. One scene in particular I simply had no choice, I started crying harder then I have in a long time. it was just so sad.
This is a fantastic movie about two brothers (both have their own private issues going on through the movie) who both enter the MMA SPARTA tournament. I found the movie really entertaining and sometimes nail biting during some of the fights. I didn't know who was going to win for ANY of the fights and that is a plus for me. Even when I did know who was going to win the second viewing I was still tense. The ending is a bit predictable but they still kick your ass with it. The music just had me in bits by the time it came on, tears all over my face. Awesome.
I will give this movie full stars. I am so impressed that it managed to get me to cry like that with such a simple scene between father and son. it taps you in the head in the previous casino scene and then punches you HARD in the chest after.
all actors are astounding in their roles but I really loved Tommy's character, though he was a little s**t for most of it. The pure rage and anger you feel just by looking at his face and when he fights is something to behold. This guy is such a great actor and actually frightened me a bit. I noticed during fights that he wont look anyone in the eye but one person.
I would certainly recommend this movie to ANYONE over 15 years. This is not a movie about boxing (I thought it was from the cover), this is MMA, UFS TAPOUT territory. Im not a huge fan of the sport but il sit and watch it if it's on. This movie was a great tribute to the sport I think. There is bonus material that is very interesting. This movie was dedicated to Charles "mask" Lewis who seemed to be a huge figure in this sport for his wonderful spirit and wisdom. The documentary and interviews with him and his mates are really great. It brought tears to my eyes and made me want to do more with my life.
I'm not going to go on anymore...trust me just buy this dvd is fantastic. Full stars.
on 17 October 2011
There is a saying that "there are no new stories" and this is a case in point. As other reviews have pointed out the struggling under dog, two battling brothers, "father issues" and the one last chance to get what you want does mean that this could be the UFC Cinderella Man or coming out in the same year even a bit like the autumn version of The Fighter.
However if you accept that all films have a passing similarity to at least something that's gone before then this is a highly polished example of a familiar tale, it is further enhanced by an excellent script and brilliant acting, Tom Hardy in the space of a year has been the wise cracking forger in Inception, the skittish English spy in Tinker, Tailor and now the huge and powerful ex US Marine Tommy in the warrior, it's hard to believe it's the same guy in all 3 films and yet is completely believable playing these very different characters. Dare I say it, could he be this generation's De Niro? However the role of the now sober alcoholic and abusive dad was written for Nick Nolte and a bit like the character he's portraying Nick knows this could be a last hurrah and grabs onto the role with both hands giving a performance that is a master class in understated acting (surely a best supporting actor nomination in the Oscars?). Then Joel Edgerton plays the most likeable of the central trio as the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts- don't call them cage fighters!) fighter who after getting badly hurt turned to teaching, but now has to step back into the ring. He may not have the power house moments of the other 2 but he's the easiest character to root for as it's simply win fights or lose his house and as he has a wife and 2 small kids it's an emotional resonance perfect for the current domestic anxieties across the globe.
Indeed like the first Rocky this is a film very much of it's time- recession, foreign war, war widows are the current sign of the times and adds a level of reality to what isn't a true a story but in the future you will just know this has to be set around 2011. However the main thing to add spice to this impressively grown up mixture is this is an MMA sports film not a boxing film and that's an important difference, having only ever seen 1 UFC fight on TV I was not ready for the electrifying fights. We've all seen enough boxing in films to know the basic moves even if you aren't a fight fan, however here almost anything goes, so you go from familiar exchanges of punches to powerful kicks, to the gasps that will come out of you when somebody gets thrown to the floor, to being up close and personal in the horrifyingly intimate grapples. There's simply more for a film maker to show then just above the belt punches and blocks. This is what makes the quest of the central characters even more frantic and even a little tragic- these are desperate men indeed.
A must see film that didn't make a huge wave under initial cinema release, possibly because the topic wasn't the more familiar boxing, possibly because there were no big names either in front of or behind the camera but this film needs to get a bigger audience and hopefully here on DVD/BluRay that discovery will start.
If you liked this there's more historical debate and fun at @HistoryGems on Facebook and Twitter
on 19 February 2012
Warrior is easiest described as "Rocky" meets "Fighter"...the first hour establish the 2 leads separately; we meet two brothers, Brendan and Tommy (Joel Edgerton & Tom Hardy)and the fact that they are brothers is not even mentioned for the first hour. Brendan is a high school physics teacher, married with children. Tommy is a Marine who served in the Middle East. They were both wrestlers or boxers in high school and trained by their father, Paddy (Nick Nolte). However here they are, 20 years on arriving at the same decision: They need to fight to make a living.
Once this setup is established, it is as sure as eggs is eggs, that Brendan and Tommy will meet in the ring for the championship of a mixed martial arts tournament. This accounts for the initial rounds, because each has to advance through a semifinal before the inevitable final confrontation in the final. What is clever is that "Warrior" doesn't have a favorite; both characters are likeable, have their own motives, and after an unhappy split in their childhood both fighters hate each other. There shared bond is a mutual dislike of their father who was responsible for their broken family & unhappy upbringing.
By this point in the film you are well & truly hooked; the pacing & timing picks up, and the big fight action in the cage contains some of the best combat sequences ever seen. The final showdown between the two leads is bloody, brutal, and seems to be happening in real time. A great touch that I loved was the entrance of the 2 men; Tommy swaggers aggressively through the crowd ignoring almost everyone, yet pasues to acknowledge his former comrades, a Marine choir. Meanwhile Brendan enters the ring to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Brilliant.
Get it, watch it, stick with it for the first hour then love it!
on 5 February 2012
As mentioned in other reviews, there's little new ground broken here in terms of story telling. Some may find the similarities to other sports tales (the obvious one being Stallone's "Rocky") a bit jarring but, in my opinion at least, "Warrior" stands out from the crowd.
It tells the tale of two brothers in conflict over a family past. Tom Hardy plays the tortured ex marine, desperate to redeem his imaginary failure in the Iraq war whilst Joel Edgerton, hardy's brother, is a financially struggling science teacher clambering to provide for his family and stave off bankruptcy. Nick Nolte really stands out with a fantastic performance playing the reformed alcoholic father striving for forgiveness from his sons and, I think, nails the part with real emotion and power. Throughout the film his guilt over his past is laid bare by his character culminating in a heart breaking scene where he falls off the wagon giving a glimpse at his alcoholic history.
The brothers have very different motivations. Hardy's character is difficult to like but excellent none the less, spending a lot of the film brooding over his perceived conduct whilst serving as a marine and struggling/refusing to reconcile with not only his father but his brother as well. There is nobility there however, conveyed in his reason for entering the contest. After all, he intends to give the prize money to the widow of a fallen comrade making the viewer have conflicting feelings for him. By that I mean he is a generally unlikable character but has a noble purpose. Hardy plays the part excellently, giving a convincing portrayal as a lost soul intent on redemption and has a real air of menace both in and out of the ring.
His brother played by Edgerton, is a completely different kettle of fish. A school teacher, he impresses a sense of civility as a family man simply trying to provide for his clan. Throughout the film the viewer is convinced that, given the choice, he wouldn't delve into the violent world which he is part of. Edgerton brilliantly portrays the grim desperation of a man with little choice left.
The film itself is well paced with an excellently balanced mixture of heartfelt emotion and bone shattering fight sequences. The general atmosphere is similar to that of the aforementioned "Rocky" in terms of the fact it's set in a city hit by recession with a war torn world stage backdrop, not to mention the underdog main story.
And therein lay the only jarring aspect of the story for me. Hardy's character is portrayed throughout the entire film as a virtually unstoppable behemoth of the fighting world, making short work of every competitor he faces without exception. And I mean that as literally as possible as the average length of one of Hardy's fights is around thirty seconds. Edgerton's character however, is never portrayed as much more than average, his only strength being the motivation to provide for his family. As a result of this, the ending feels distinctly unbelievable with Hardy's much more ferocious and capable character being beaten by his significantly weaker and less capable brother. The film would have avoided this if Hardy's character maybe had a few more close calls in the tournament, possibly giving the idea he is at least beatable but instead, he wades through rival competitors with apparently no effort.
Regardless of this last point however, I still would rate this film very highly indeed and would recommend it to anyone who is fan of this genre. A great film throughout, slightly let down with an implausible ending.
on 29 February 2012
I know nothing about MMA or UFC but...
...putting aside the mawkish cliché, which this film has a streak of a mile thick, its hard to say a bad thing about it. However, this is less "all the Rocky's rolled into one" than The Wrestler with less subtle character arcs.
It has a trio of very fine performances, from Hardy's brutish, emotionally wounded war vet, to Edgerton's all round dignified good egg, and Nolte's guilt ridden father who is trying to repair his life and atone his sins.
The fight scenes are frenetic and well shot, with convincing bruising action.
Come the end i and the g/f were both very emotionally engaged in the whole affair and im not ashamed to admit on a couple of occasions the drama was genuinely upsetting and uplifting.
on 21 February 2012
First thing I've got to say is I grew up watching all the 80's martial art's films Kick boxer, Best of the best, Bloodsport and of course all the Rockys (apart from 5) and so on. So this in my mind is a valid opinion, I loved it its like all the films I mentioned before but with actor's that can eerr! act. With all the best will in the world and the fact I would defend there films to the hills but JCVD and Seagal and the rest did not really set the pules's racing with the dialogue, Apart from the odd few Rocky 4 one liners that still crack me up to this day It was the fact you could watch a good old beat down. This is that same idea just done well I kind of think of it as if Christopher Nolan had directed Bloodsport I loved it. I'm not going to go into the plot for the reason I went in to it as knowing nothing about it and I think thats the best way, But I know loads and loads of people that have seen it and not one bad word so in my eyes It's a must!!!!!
on 29 December 2011
I did enjoy Warrior, and like it's title it is more raw and gritty than say the Fighter. Thomas Hardy is Tommy Rearden/Conlon - a beefcake ex Marine boxer, with a troubled past. He also has a brother (Brendan Collins) a struggling teacher and family man who returns to fighting to save his house being repossessed. They both enter a $5million Tap Out Sparta UFC styled tournament, which rather obviously careers to a final showdown between the 2.
If you can put aside the longness (over 2 hours) and turn a blind eye to the cheesy themes and underbelly then this is a powerful, well crafted film all about fighting and family. It is well acted, shot, plotted and is entertaining throughout (for fight fans) even if it does milk the finale and play safe to this genre (boxing).
Fight fans, and males, should love this offering, I would argue it is better than 'The Fighter' and like a modern Rocky/Karate Kid.
on 2 June 2012
I found this to be quite a good film, and it's rated 4 stars by the Radio Times (to me that means "good to watch and engrossing"). For once, the blurb on the cover is right... it really is like "all the Rockys rolled into one"! It's tough. Good acting too.
on 25 May 2013
Last night I watched Warrior which is an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) film about two brothers played by Tom Hardy & Joel Edgerton that don't get along.
Tommy (Joel) is an ex marine that is haunted by his past of almost drowning and dying which has made him go off the rails. Brendan on the other hand is an ex MMA fighter who is now a teacher and also has the perfect family but he has a problem, he has no money coming in and could lose his house.
That is until they both hear about a huge MMA event called SPARTA which could turn both of their lives around.
Now let's be honest, if you've seen THE FIGHTER then you know what to expect, this is near enough the same story just with a different sport and I will admit it was a good film which starred lots of real MMA fighters and UFC stars (including WWE / TNA wrestling star KURT ANGLE which puts in a menacing performance).
It just wasn't what I expected, yes the fights are well filmed and it is like watching a UFC event in the fight scenes.
I just didn't warm to any of the characters and it was more drama then action (which can be a good thing) but this left me cold as you can see who the main fight is going to be against before it even gets there.
The film rushes to it's main event final and it seems that in the film everyone and their dog is really into MMA like a religion and their TV is stuck on the channel that is showing MMA, UFC, ESPN MMA News (anything to do with MMA).
It just seemed rushed to me like they had ran out of ideas so it was a quick let's get to the main event.
So i'll end it here by saying if you like MMA check this film out, otherwise your not missing much as their are films that tell this type of story better.