Warrior film review – Home Entertainment
(Rating: 15, 140 mins) Written by Zen Terrelonge
Starring – Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte, Kurt Angle.
Among the current trend of Brits playing Yanks, Robert Pattinson playing Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga is one example, Alex Pettyfer starring in I Am Number Four and Beastly is another. Now our dear Tom Hardy has now enlisted as a US Marine (in the film that is, don’t worry you’ll still see him in Batman next year).
Well it’s only fair really, as American Robert Downey Jr has claimed the iconic role of the great British detective, Sherlock Holmes.
So it’s a sporting film and the title is Warrior. Boxing may spring to mind and it would be a reasonable assumption, the sport is featured more than any other in films, but the gloves are off this time as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) receives a moment in the sun.
Former-Marine and ex-wrestler Tommy Riordan (Hardy) makes a shock return to his hometown of Pittsburgh to stay with his recovering alcoholic dad, Paddy Conlon (Nolte).
Tommy enlists the training expertise of his former wrestling champion father to help him get back into the ring and bring his fitness up to scratch.
During a training session at the local gym, Tommy humiliates the resident tough guy with ease and gets offered a spot in a winner-takes-all fighting tournament.
Meanwhile, schoolteacher and family man Brendan Conlon (Edgerton), is oblivious to his little brother’s return, as he too has zero contact with the father who he resents.
Struggling to connect the dots when he is suspended from school for street-fighting in order to keep up payments on the house, he begins to train at the gym with old friend Frank and begs for a slot in the upcoming tournament.
Soon both brothers are unknowingly going head to head, each adopting a different approach to their training, old school and new school. The rush of adrenaline all good sporting films bring is there as you see progression, blood pumping and sweat dripping leading up to the main event.
The biggest threat to join the tournament is Koba (Angle), an angry Russian that wants nothing more than to crack some heads. Casting former-Olympic gold medalist and ex-WWE star Angle was a nice touch, he looks crazy, he is crazy and the beard added some more crazy.
With my Fitness Instructor qualification tucked under my belt safe and secure, I can distinctly see that Hardy has definitely put in some training hours, especially for those shoulders.
He worked on his naturally slim frame, just as he did with Bronson, and he even broke bones for the cause, now that’s dedication.
What I found interesting was that throughout the film, he was the one person that kept his top on until the tournament started, clearly in an attempt to build up a buzz for his big reveal.
Hardy delivers a performance as powerful as he looks, cold, rough on the outside but inside he’s broken, still haunted by the events from his childhood.
Nolte is outstanding as the old man trying to make a fresh start with his boys, no matter what he did in the past, you can’t help but feel for him as he pours his heart out to his offspring, who don’t want to give him the time of day.
Nolte himself has a history of liquor loving and he may well have drawn upon his own road to recovery.
Great acting and great fighting – Warrior is Hardy by name, Hardy by nature.