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Review: Warrior (2011)

At a certain point, fighting movies will be overplayed. Sooner or later we will have had enough of the Raging Bull, the Fighter, and all the Rocky’s. Luckily for Warrior, that time has not come yet.

Warrior, of course, is the classic underdog tale. Times two. Brothers, Tom and Brendan Conlon, haven’t seen each other since they were separated with their parents divorce as children. Brendan (Joel Edgerton) has turned into the responsible one, becoming a high school teacher, and having a family of his own. Tommy (Tom Hardy) has yet to settle down, and his history includes a shady past in the military, and a very violent present. Due to their different reasons, (Brendan needs money to keep his house, Tommy just wants to fight) they both end up in one of the largest MMA tournaments in the country. As the two unknown’s slowly make their way to the top, secrets are revealed (including their relation) and memories and dug up.

After seeing what Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale could do outside of the ring in a fighting movie, the first half of Warrior is disappointing. Obviously, nothing will match the humor, drama, and entertainment of The Fighter outside of the ring. But once the Conlon’s get into the tournament, Warrior becomes a whole lot better. The biggest thing is the juxtaposition between Hardy and Edgerton, while still feeling like they are brothers. Everything about their fights are completely opposite, yet their is a familiarity between the two. And while I was afraid of it becoming too predictable, I never really knew how Warrior would end up. Edgerton and Jennifer Morrison (playing his wife), and Nick Nolte (the patriarch of the Conlon’s) all give great performances, but it is Hardy who stands out with his uncontainable violence, deep rooted disdain for his father, and his overall conflicted feelings toward his long separated brother.

My Rating: A-

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