The youngest son (Tom Hardy) of an alcoholic former boxer (Nick Nolte) returns home, where he’s trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament—a path that puts the fighter on a collision corner with his older brother (Joel Edgerton).
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Man, did Bane just wander off the THE DARK KNIGHT RISES set? I like Tom Hardy but he totally overshot the traumatized war veteran / damaged-by-crazy-alcoholic-father routine. Joel Edgerton compensates with a much more nuanced, convincing performance. The fights scenes are astoundingly good. DP Masanobu Takanagi captures the grittiness on 35mm film with poetic realism. Beethoven would approve. Bane? Not so sure...
An action-heavy yet patient and emotional fight flick that embraces its clichés and evolves them. One of the more rousing films of the last few years, and a certain triumph for Gavin O'Connor, who fully delivers on the promise he showed with his other gritty family drama, "Pride and Glory." Nick Nolte and Jennifer Morrison were standouts for me, though the entire cast exceeded any expectations I had.
The two hours flew by when I watched it, Gavin O'Connor is sharp behind the camera, I'll give him that, and Nick Nolte in the very few moments he's allowed to act his heart out steals the show in my opinion, amazing performance, let's hope he wins the Oscar.
WARRIOR follows the old tried-yet-true formula of the fight movie, applying the conventions to MMA as opposed to boxing or wrestling. Yet despite frequently relying on cliche, and fights that take considerable dramatic license out of necessity, WARRIOR manages to steadily build to an impressive crescendo that feels almost Biblical by the end. Hardy is fierce, Edgerton is determined, Nolte is grizzled. Good stuff.
Either overcomplicates or underestimates the drama for it to err on the side of melodrama, but still its emotion simmers enough, and boils in the scenes with Nolte. Like 2010's The Fighter, O'Connor doesn't show as much intensity or flair in the fisticuffs sequences, as their photography is square pegged, while the editing is samey. Also, the leisurely pace is too flat-footed, where it should float like a butterfly.
Underrated powerhouse of a drama that transcends the cage fighting premise (although contextualises it superbly) with a taut excoriation of fraught family ties. Nolte, Hardy, Edgerton, Grillo and Morrison are incredible.