Friday, August 10, 2012

Warrior (2011)

Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 140 minutes

Let me start out by saying that I am not a fan of Mixed Martial Arts and I had my reservations before watching this film. I am so glad that I decided against my initial prejudice and gave it a try - I was not disappointed. 

"Warrior" is a film centered on a story about a badly broken family and their struggle to overcome their personal obstacles. Brendan Conlon and Tommy Conlon, played by Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, grew up in a household with an abusive alcoholic father, Paddy Conlon, played by Nick Nolte. Getting out of the situation, Brendan and Tommy took separate paths - Brendan ran off with his high school sweetheart while Tommy ran away with his mother, who became terminally ill some time later. 

The film begins in the cold aftermath of life in the boys' adulthood. Paddy is no longer an alcoholic. He is 1,000 days sober and will spend the rest of his life asking forgiveness for his sins. Older brother Brendan is a high school physics teacher with a wife and two daughters. Younger brother Tommy takes pills and appears to be a free rider, having no permanent address or place in this world.

Each character in this film sets after their own personal sense of retribution. Paddy was a deadbeat father who singlehandedly tore apart the best thing in his life - his family. Now he is faced with putting the broken pieces back together, if that's even possible. Brendan was always the underdog in his father's eyes, not the champion like Tommy. After supporting his family in a way that his father never could, Brendan is now faced with a bank foreclosure on his home and he'd do anything to not let that happen. After Tommy's military unit was erased by friendly fire, Tommy went AWOL, promising to do right by his military comrade's widow. 

Each of these hardships is brought together by one singular competition - the Spartan Mixed Martial Arts tournament, boasting a 5 million dollar purse. I will not reveal anything more about the tournament, for it is best viewed from a non-biased audience. I will say that the fighting was well-choreographed and just about as realistic as it gets, although I have no desire to personally verify this statement. Edgerton plays a great underdog and a convincing role of the shamed older brother, while Hardy delivers an excellent performance of a man so damaged and fueled by hate, I imagine that I would be scared to death fighting with him in the ring, even if it was just acting!

This film goes through a range of emotions and I found myself taking turns sympathizing or getting angry with one character to the next. It is much easier to forgive than it is to forget, a lesson we come to learn well after watching this film.

Thumbs UP


  1. i am speechless this movie is such a reality check for families. How parents or one parent can change the lives of innocent children.The impact of scaring them for life some make it and some seem to go further into a life of hatred and pain. I thought this movie showed us both sides, one forgave and let things go, to make things better in life.The other brother was filled with hatred and pain and could not let the past go.For the father he will pay for his sins every day he trys to make things right with his boys.This movie was intense and sad and happy i thought it was great and would sugest this as a must see, it may change your life or the way you look at life!

  2. I have not seen this yet, but Tom Hardy is one of the best actors right now so I'll probably try to watch it soon.


  3. Its official Tom Hardy has made it onto my favorite actor list. First Bane and now Tommy (for me). I highly recommend seeing this if you havent. When this was first released I expected another stupid fight movie. I enjoy MMA and boxing. Most fight movies have sucked! I cant say much more than whats been posted prior.