Sunday, January 1, 2012

Warrior

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Warrior - 5 out of 5
I don't watch the UFC.  I don't wear the douchy "Tapout" shirts or find two dudes fighting in a cage to be my prime choice of entertainment.  I harbor no ethical or moral reason against the violent sport.  The fact is, it's a sport and I don't watch sports.

But I'll watch movies about them!

Keeping the tradition of epic sports movies alive and hitting parallels of past greats like Rocky, Miracle and The Wrestler, Warrior is about two estranged brothers who end up getting into a mix martial arts (MMA) tournament called Sparta (I guess you can say when you enter that tournament, "THIS IS SPARTA!!!"...yeah, that joke has probably already been done.)

Kurt Angle was in this and he was good.  Why?  Not a single line more complex than a yell or grunt.
Later he'll go on to kick Batman's ass.
Each brother has their own reasons and motivations to being in the tournament and kicking ass all the way to the end.  Tommy, a former marine, (played by Bane himself; Tom Hardy) is out to collect the 5 million dollar prize money for the widow of his friend that he lost overseas and Brendan (played by Uncle Owen; Joel Edgerton) needs the cash in order to provide for his family and to keep his home from being foreclosed on.  Each man fight with their purpose driving them to win.  Tommy is angry at their father (played amazingly by Nick Nolte) for being a distant father who cared more about Tommy's glory as a wrestler/champion than his younger son or his sobriety.  Brendan, a high school teacher, fights for the love of his kids and wife and feelings of being pushed aside by his dad.  While all this ass kicking and emotion is going on, old papa is trying to struggle with being sober and make it up to his kids while Brendan is forced into suspension without pay for his participating in amateur MMA contests on school nights.  All this drama and face punching culminates in the brothers having to enter the cage against one another.  Who will come out the victor?

"You should see the other guy...not a scratch on him."
Is he about to hadouken?
If you watch this and, at any point, don't feel the need to get up and cheer as the brothers participate in their fights, then you are probably not human.  Despite the extremely violent nature of the sport, Warrior does an incredibly job of making the brothers realistic, human and vulnerable so, when they do have a win in the octagon, you feel like you've seen a real life sporting event and seen the underdog come out the winner (even though, especially Hardy's character, both are legitimate bad-asses in the film).

You're a long way from Tatooine, Uncle Owen.

I never thought I would ever say it but Nolte was
impressive in this one!  Not as impressive as his mugshot
but impressive nonetheless.

Just like the first time you got to see Rocky scream out for "Adrian," Warrior is able to capture that primitive spirit that resides in all of us to compete and strive for victory.  Add to that the terrific acting by Edgerton, Hardy and especially Nolte, who each play amazingly engaging characters, Warrior is one of those sports dramas that will make you stand and cheer...and immediately sit down as you remember that the movie was not a real UFC match.

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