I don't normally choose films about fighting unless it has been touted by critics to be worth viewing, or unless there is a particular actor in the film that I am interested in watching. It's not really my choice of film genré. What interested me about the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) film "Warrior" was the cast. I didn't read any reviews and I was largely out of the loop with any of the film buzz surrounding this film. All I knew was that Aussie actor Joel Edgerton was in this and I was very interested to see this dude whom I had known from the popular Australian television show "The Secret Life of Us" in a big-screen film. Also, the other English dude, Tom Hardy from "Inception" was co-starring, so I thought - why not.
I enjoyed this film thoroughly.
...okay, I suppose I should go into a wee bit more detail.
"Warrior" tells the story of two brothers, dissociated from one another competing for the same prize. One happens to have settled down with a family and by day works as a physics teacher, whilst by night moonlights as an MMA fighter. The other, is an ex-Marine with several secrets lurking in his closet from his past. Both brothers share an estrangement from their alcoholic father, played by Nick Nolte, whom tries tirelessly to redeem himself and forge somewhat of a relationship with his sons.
I think where this film falls short is the fact that there are too many dramatic elements wielded into the story. Without spoiling the plot, let us just put it down to basics. I think the film would have been just as good, if not better if they focussed solely on the complicated and somewhat tainted relationship between father and sons. OR, it could have focussed solely on Tom Hardy's character's dark secrets and his background in the military. Instead, it feels like the writer of this story wanted to make sure this film was as dramatic as possible and to raise the stakes for both characters (because yes, let's face it, we know they both are inevitably going to face each other in the octagon for the ultimate show down in the end). The saving grace is the ending. It is surprisingly so full of emotion and heart that it compensates for the over-dramaticism. The key to pulling this off is put down to none other than the two leading men - Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy. Those two together were flawless and their relationship dynamic was spot on.
Excellent casting, with Nick Nolte portraying a recovering alcoholic convincingly and his two sons, Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy playing their parts to perfection. From seeing this film, I now have full confidence that Tom Hardy's appearance in Christopher Nolan's last Batman instalment, as the character Bane - many critics have quaffed at this choice and admittedly I too was skeptical. But after seeing this performance, I think he will be fine.
A good Friday night DVD to bring home. You don't necessarily have to be an MMA die-hard to enjoy this film. I'm not and I enjoyed every second thoroughly.