Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor
Underneath the typical sports movie mask, Warrior is an introspective, emotionally-charged drama. With top-notch acting performances and an intriguing directing style, this film is a hidden gem at the box office.
Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) is a recovering alcoholic whose addiction has torn his
family apart and fractured his relationship with his sons. Going on three years sober he is reintroduced into his sons’ lives. His youngest, Tommy, unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep one night. It’s apparent that Paddy’s old habits have rubbed off on his son.
The eldest son, Brendan (Joel Edgerton) is a high school physics teacher with a
family of his own. Despite him and his wife juggling jobs, they face foreclosure. Paddy makes contact with Brendan and breaks the news of his sobriety and of his brother’s return. He expects Brendan to forgive and forget, but his son isn’t too willing. “I forgive you, but I don’t trust you,” he says.
Tommy harbors similar feelings of distrust for Paddy, but asks him to train him for the ‘Superbowl’ of mixed martial arts, Sparta. Even though he is driven by anger and bitterness, Tommy has his eye on the prize money with one purpose in mind: supporting the widow of his friend whom he served in the military with. Unbeknownst to Tommy, his
brother is also training for the tournament; the prize money would be more than sufficient to pull his family out of financial ruin.
As the brothers fiercely fight their way through the competition, they also find
themselves fighting their own resentment and unforgiveness towards each other.
The pacing of this movie is spot on; the storyline is riveting and demands your
attention, striking the perfect balance between drama and manly action. The cast deliver fantastic, authentic performances (all three leads deserve Oscar nods); they add incredible depth to a film that could have ventured into ‘been there, done that’ territory.
Although Warrior hasn’t been a huge box-office success, it’s been well received by those who have seen it. Our audience was very interactive and applauded at the end; one
movie-goer remarked, “That was easily the best movie I’ve seen this year.” We couldn’t
Co-written by Amber Oliver