Posted on 12/04/12 06:54 AM
SPOILER ALERT: I read reviews about the movie and thought it was going to be a crowd pleaser of some sort, but instead it had a very lazy script. The best thing about the movie I thought were the performances. Tom Hardy as Tommy and Nick Nolte were really great, Joel Edgerton was pretty descent (although I could hear his Australian accent in many scenes). Okay now let me explain why the story is so messy. Brendan Conlon is a High School teacher who inexplicably cannot afford his moderately nice suburban house. He even fights at nights to keep his house. The movie doesn't care to explain why this is happening but makes you feel the problems with his perfect children and the model blonde wife. Brendan's brother Tommy is a strong brute type who is as cold as ice but wants to win the tournament money for a widowed Hispanic lady with two kids who's husband died in combat. Tommy's story seemed the most admirable I thought, but of course they had to add in that he abandoned his military post to justify him losing at the end. Therefore hispanic lady disappears after two scenes and we don't know what happens to her. The worst part I think is how they make it seem admirable that brothers fight for money. A lot of real life brothers in MMA refuse to fight; the Nogueira brothers, Emelianenko brothers, Rua brothers, heck even the millionaire Klitschko brothers don't fight and they still make a hell of a good living dominating the heavy weight boxing division for a decade. Also when the blonde trophy wife has to cheer on her husband in beating his brother up for the sake of the two story house; it gives me the same feeling of a bro ho cheering on her boyfriend in a bar fight. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little on that. But the point is the story as a whole is preposterous and does not fail to deliver the biggest cliches seen in typical Hollywood movies time and time again. The heroic cheeziness of the two central characters not making ends meat, not keeping up with bills, or just being Brando like outcasts who happen to break tank doors open. The stereo typical Russian who still rocks the Soviet flag just so you know he is communist, haven't we seen this guy in Rocky IV? I guess he was a lame attempt at symbolizing Fedor Emelianenko but nowhere close to representing him. Besides those big obvious cliches all the other ones are there in action, the comebacks, the bell ringing when conflict arises in the classroom, the negative wife who joins to root for the protagonist at the end, the god forsaken kids birthday party scene (for real how many of these are there in movies?) and of course at the end Brendan gets to keep the nice house even after his wife said she doesn't give a shit about the money and would rather live in a apartment than have him fighting. The dramatic scene of Brendan telling Tommy he loves him while choking him out was hilarious, I seriously could not keep a straight face. The brother's reunite after a broken arm, Nolte's character Paddy oddly walks away and from there you should just be happy. Wait a minute Tommy goes to military jail with a broken arm and the widow hispanic lady? well let's not worry about her, the important thing is the nice house. I wanted to see a grade A hollywood script like in Casablanca where everyone wins, but then again, in Casablanca they don't care what happens to Sam really.
PS. I forgot to mention the exaggerated biased commentators, closer to WWE style than....okay I'm giving away too much.