Warrior is a well balance, thrilling, exciting and emotional film which delivers powerful hits that are sure to leave a mark.
We follow Tommy Riorden(Tom Hardy), an ex-Marine haunted by a mysterious past. After years away from home he returns to his father, Paddy Conlon(Nick Nolte), a recovering alcoholic. The two share a few delicate words about Tommys’ mother, giving reason to his hiatus. After sparring with a top contender for the largest UFC tournament in the sports history, Tommy lands a spot of his own. To prepare for the tournament he decides to turn to his despised father for training.
We are also introduced to Brendan Conlon(Joel Edgerton), an ex-MMA fighter turned public school teacher. Struggling to keep his home with his wife Tess(Jennifer Morrison) and two daughters, Brendan resorts to amateur bouts to make ends meet. Such behavior gets Brendan suspended from his job making matters worse. He approaches an old friend Frank Campana(Frank Grillo) to train him so that he may be more effective against his mediocre opponents in the ring. Through determination and sheer fate, Brendan find himself as the replacement for Franks injured fighter who was participating in the same tournament as his brother, Tommy Rioden.
After years apart the two must battle through violent pasts, broken promises and trust issues before ultimately facing each other in the largest prize fight of their lives.
Lionsgate’s, Warrior, is an Action/Drama film directed by Gavin O’Connor. This movie satisfies your hunger for violence while displaying a strong emotional meaning to its nature. The fighters Tommy and Brendan both have strong reasons for participating in the tournament. Brendan, hoping to prevent his house from being foreclosed and Tommy trying to keep a promise he made to a fallen comrade. Throughout their journey we get a close look into their troubled past.
Aside from a reason to fight, this movie addresses the issue of trust and forgiveness. Paddy tries desperately to gain both of his son’s pardons and patch together what is left of the broken family. Tommy feels betrayed by his older brother for choosing to stay while he left with his mother. And Brendan must reassure his wife that he will not get hurt in the ring. These concerns never distract the viewer from the plot of the movie and only add to its impressive story.
We all know the normal clichés to expect in movies but Warrior disguises them almost effortlessly. We see the rise of the underdog, the praised war hero, the favored school teacher, the devoted family man and the outlaw. Such characteristics are portrayed without seeming forced or fake. Instead it simply reveals more layers of each character, further building your connection to them.
The movie does send mixed messages as to exactly which year these events are taking place. I would assume that it is placed at about the time UFC was gaining its popularity. However, Tommy subscribes to a gym via index card, Brendan has his coach literally roll down the window for a conversation and some pretty resourceful high school students rent out a drive in Movie Theater to watch the fights. Imagine my confusion when Tommy is a Youtube sensation and announcers mentioning Google in their commentary. This is only a tiny flaw, however, that does not take away from the quality of the movie at all.
Warrior is enjoyable and riveting. The movie never seemed to drag along and they were not stingy on the fighting scenes at all. I have been a fan of Tom Hardy since Bronson and his large physique fits perfectly into his role.
Be sure to do yourself a favor and watch Warrior, out now on Blu-Ray and DVD.