There are few human relationships as complex and beautiful as the ones brothers share.
Today’s film, “Warrior,” examines the distressed relationship between two estranged brothers who face each other in the most unlikely of places.
Tom Hardy is Tommy, a former fighting prodigy and Marine, who returns home after more than a decade to ask his aging father (Nick Nolte) to train him so he can compete in Sparta, the biggest mixed martial arts event in history. They have no idea that Tommy’s brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), also has his eye on Sparta. Brendan is a school teacher, but when money gets tight for his family, it’s Sparta’s cage that promises a big payday.
The brothers are underdogs in an event populated by celebrity athletes. Each brother takes the cage by storm. But making it to the finale will mean fighting each other.
“Warrior” isn’t just another fight movie. Though it is as dramatic as the recent Mark Wahlberg picture “The Fighter,” “Warrior” weaves its emotional tale in a much subtler, more controlled way. The film also comes off with the same authenticity.
Writer/director Gavin O’Connor is like an artist, only allowing his audience a glimpse here and there as to whom his two characters are, what trauma they weathered as children and what they are really fighting for. Tommy and Brendan are mirror images. One brother is driven by rage and unforgiveness. He’s in the dark, while the other has learned to move on and is in the light.
For his work, Nolte is a Screen Actor’s Guild Awards nominee for outstanding performance by a male actor in a supporting role. Hardy, who is British, is praiseworthy here for playing a gritty American and for learning to fight. To his credit, Edgerton is Australian and also had to learn to fight.
In case you can’t tell…
I’m a fan!