Bryan Callen: Lock up the china because the boys are at it again!
"Family is worth fighting for"
I can easily say this is the best fighting movie I have ever seen. Even though it is really a family drama disguised as a MMA movie, the fights could not be better. The way they are filmed, each one feels like a climax. The movie just keeps building strength as it goes. The punches come harder both physically and emotionally. I really didn't think the most touching film of the year would come from one based in MMA tournament, but I also didn't expect it to be nearly as good as it was. I guess I was wrong.
There's a lot going on with this movie. A Marine, Tommy, returns home where he meets his father, Paddy, at his house. Within the first three minutes of their conversation, you can see that Tommy has no love for his father. But he soon enlists him as his trainer for the "Superbowl of MMA," Sparta. Tommy also has an older brother Brendan, who is a physics teacher, who's home is about to be foreclosed on. He begins to fight to make money, and somehow squeaks his way into Sparta. Both are underdogs there, but both are tougher than the others. Tommy also doesn't have much love for his brother. When Tommy and his mom left because the father was an alcoholic who slapped her around, Brendan stayed behind with his father and girlfriend(now his wife). All this family drama just compounds the lead up to the ending.
The craziest thing about the movie is that it manages to be somewhat suspenseful. That's one thing I really didn't think it could be, seeing as they told us straight up in the trailer that these two brothers would meet in the championship. So of course they're going to win all their matches. What made it suspenseful was the great tension that Gavin O'Connor was able to create. No matter if it was the family drama or the actual fights, there was so much tension in everything that was going on. When the movie finally reaches that final fight, it is a sight to behold. It's thrilling, compelling, and ultimately touching, in ways that I've never seen before.
Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte, who play the three family members are fantastic. They all bring out the most from their characters. Tom Hardy plays Tommy, who is such an emotionally deep character. Tommy was in the Marines, and in order not to give too much away, I'll say that a lot of stuff happened there that has had an affect on him. He's quite and lacks the emotion he should have. He hates his father for forcing him and his mother into leaving. He hates his brother because he feels like he was abandoned by him. Tom Hardy also just got me even more pumped up for The Dark Knight Rises. His fighting scenes in this movie are awesome, so it is going to be amazing when we finally get to see him as Bane. Edgerton plays Brandon. His character is more out of the book, but still compelling. As I said he is a teacher. He has a wife and two daughters, and not much money. His house will be foreclosed on soon. So he has to win this tournament, where the reward is 5 million dollars. He also hates his father, but wants to be close to his brother. Nolte plays Paddy. He is a recovering alcoholic who just wants to be forgiven by his two sons. He constantly is trying to get as close to them as he can, but they just turn him away.
Warrior is just a terrific movie. To just compare it to the likes of Rocky and The Fighter would be an understatement. As much as I like those other two, I like this even more. Phenomenal work from all involved.
Brendan Conlon: I'm your brother, man.
Tom Conlon: You were in the Corps?
Brendan Conlon: What?
Tom Conlon: I said I didn't know you were in the Corps.
Brendan Conlon: I wasn't in the Corps.
Tom Conlon: Then you ain't no brother to me. My brother was in the Corps.