Family is worth fighting for
Family is worth fighting for
D: Gavin O'Connor
Lions Gate/Mimran Schur (Gavin O'Connor & Greg O'Connor)
US 2011
134 mins


W: Gavin O'Connor, Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorfman
DP: Masanobu Takayanagi
Ed: John Gilroy, Sean Albertson, Matt Chesse & Aaron Marshall
Mus: Mark Isham

Tom Hardy (Tommy Riordan), Joel Edgerton (Brendan Conlon), Jennifer Morrison (Tess Conlon), Frank Grillo (Frank Campana), Nick Nolte (Paddy Conlon), Kevin Dunn (Joe Zito)

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is a sport which has increased hugely in popularity over the decade building up to 2011, and Warrior does a fantastic job in capturing why the sport has become so popular.

Meatier than recent great fighting films like The Wrestler & The Fighter, it showcases brains, brawn and heart as well as tremendous performances, especially from Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton & Nick Nolte. 

The story is a rather simple one, with two men from different sides of the tracks participating in a ultimate fighting tournament, both for very different reasons. One is a brute of a man, whose key strategy is to simply beat all and sundry, whilst the other has a more technical approach, utilising skills from a variety of martial art styles.

Tom Hardy's is easily the most interesting character in the film, a storm of rage with a rock-hard shell, though morally good on the very inside. It's a strange performance, as it's quite difficult to sympathise with his character during the film's opening act, but he made a good ying to Joel Edgerton's yang, and as the climax approaches, it's virtually impossible to choose a side. 

This isn't a black mark against the film though, it's a fantastic sports drama which wrestles every single emotion into submission.