Ex-marine Tom Hardy and school teacher Joel Edgerton are estranged brothers whose family broke apart because of their drunkard father (Nick Nolte). What happens when both the brothers decide to fight in a mixed martial arts competition for the prize money? Read the review of Warrior for more.
Business rating: 2.5/5 stars
Star cast: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo.
What’s Good: The action sequences; the tear-jerking climax; the tense confrontation scenes between the protagonists; the excellent cinematography.
What’s Bad: The narrative lags at many places; some people may not take well to the excessive physical mixed martial arts fights.
Verdict: Warrior is a first-rate film. However, the lack of face value and average promotion will affect its box-office performance in India.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not?: Watch Warrior for the wonderful performances and the well-executed climactic fights.
Mimran Schur Pictures, Lionsgate and Solaris’ Warrior is an action-drama about two estranged brothers.
Tommy (Tom Hardy), who is an ex-Marine haunted by a tragic past, comes to his estranged father’s house. The father, who was also a former Marine and a boxer, was the reason why Tommy had left home with his mother many years ago. The mother has since died of cancer. The older brother, Brendan, had stayed back with his father and girlfriend, Tess (Jennifer Morrison), whom he married later. Both, Brendan and Tommy, were trained in mixed martial arts by their father when they were teenagers and before the family broke up. Sometime after the family break-up, Brendan had abandoned his father and his own faltering career as a fighter to work as a physics teacher at a local school. Presently, their father, who has since found God and turned sober, is living alone.
The father is very happy when Tommy comes back. But Tommy’s stranger-like behavior leaves the father emotionally hurt. Tommy neither talks to his father properly nor does he tell him anything about his past life. Nonetheless, Tommy starts training for Sparta, an upcoming mixed martial arts competition that is to be held in a few days. With his superior build and aggressive fighting style, he soon manages to enter the knockout competition. His father, who wants to get close to Tommy, starts to train him.
On the other hand, Brendan is suspended from work when he fights at a local bar to make an extra buck because he needs money desperately to avoid his house from being auctioned for non-repayment of loan. When his wife learns about Brendan’s decision to start fighting again, she is aghast because mixed martial arts is a dangerous game. Nevertheless, as they have no other option to make money within the required time to repay the bank loan, they decide that Brendan will do small fights that happen across the country.
Brendan, who had retired from mixed martial arts many years ago, starts training with his former colleague and friend, Frank Campana (Frank Grillo), at the latter’s gym. He works very hard and jumps at the chance of entering Sparta, much to the fear of his wife.
Once at the venue, Brendan spots brother Tommy. Later, the duo meets, and Tommy is dismissive about his brother, blaming him for leaving his mother and Tommy behind when they needed him the most. Brendan explains by saying that he was just a teenager who was in love (with Tess). Tommy refuses to forgive him. The fights begin from the next day. Do the two brothers come face to face in any fight? What about their dream of winning the prize money? What about their father? The rest of the film and the climax answer these questions.
Warrior Review – Script Analysis
Gavin O’Connor and Cliff Dorfman’s story is good as it has a lot of scope for emotions and drama. The screenplay, by Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis and Cliff Dorfman, takes the story to another level by having well-conceptualised back-to-back fights in the second half and a climax that brings tears to every viewer’s eyes. There are many nail-biting moments during the very physical fight sequences. The heartwarming final shot of the movie leaves one with a good feeling, thus, in conclusion, leaving the audience with a bitter-sweet feeling. Moreover, the confrontation scenes between the father and the sons separately and between the two brothers are well-written.
On the flip side, the first half of the film, where the back stories of the protagonists is revealed bit by bit, moves at a rather slow pace. Besides, the bloody bashing that the protagonists receive in the fight scenes may also put off some people.
Warrior Review – Star Performances
Joel Edgerton does a fine job as the underdog fighter. Tom Hardy is the real star of the film. He impresses with his macho body and his mysterious and silent demeanour. He is excellently wild in the fight scenes. Nick Nolte slips into his character of a repentant father very well. Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo and Kevin Dunn (as Principal Zito) offer very good support. Kurt Angle (as the Russian fighter, Koba) fills the bill. Writer-director Gavin O’Connor makes an appearance in the movie as the creator of the Sparta competition.
Warrior Review – Direction & Music
Gavin O’Connor’s direction is very good. He makes the drama believable at all times and creates a massive impact in the climax of the film. His conception of the final fight scene needs to be lauded. Mark Isham’s background score is impactful. Masanobu Takayanagi’s cinematography is very good, especially in the latter half. Editing, by Sean Albertson, Matt Chesse, John Gilroy and Aaron Marshall, is faultless.
Warrior Review – Verdict
On the whole, Warrior is a very good fare. Unfortunately, the film will do dull business at the Indian box-office because of the lack of face value and dull promotion. Waste of a good film.