Picking my first movie for this year was a lot easier. After watching few good movies like Moneyball, The Adjustment Bureau, and Real Steel early this year, I have got a special mention which I really want to talk about here. I can’t say overlooked but this is one of the least marketed ground-breaker from 2011.
Warrior (2011) directed by Gavin O’Connor is the story a family that had torn apart fourteen years ago and reunite only to see it kind of breaking again. Nick Nolte plays a father role as Paddy Conlon who is a former alcoholic. Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton are his sons Brendan and Tommy. After a family dispute and disappearance of his sons, Paddy lives a loner’s life. Tommy returns back to his father after 14 years and he wants his father to train him for martial arts combat.
Brendan lives down in Philadelphia with his wife and three little girls as a Physics teacher. Due to his economy and family burdens, he is forced to go back into the cage for a living. Though his wife wouldn’t allow, he has to fight for his family. After a fight at a parking lot near a strip club, Brendan gets suspended from his school. This makes him approach his former friend and a famous martial arts trainer to get an entry into a big event that would offer 5 million dollars to the winner.
Tommy whose past remains a mystery becomes an overnight YouTube sensation after he slams down a serious contender at a gym in a warm-up fight. This earns him an entry into the tournament as well. Later everyone including his father realizes that Tommy was a marine and a real war hero who has saved his men from a trap and walked out with a trace.
Fate puts them head to head. Brendan hates his father for his past. Tommy isn’t ready to accept Brendan for his past. While the whole mystery behind their family fight remains unknown, the conversation between the father and his sons slowly uncovers them. Still not ready to accept his brother, Tommy wants to be in the cage for a different reason which is explained as the story proceeds.
The first part of the movie is a lot about building the characters. Each and every frame conveys something very calmly like a Beethoven’s score. The second part takes it all over like a dynamo. You will be on the edge of your seat watching the climax. By far, this is the best sports movie I have seen in years since Raging Bull.
This is an absolute playground for actors. There are scenes for everyone to prove their worth. If Nick Nolte can do it with his dialogues, Tom and Joel have done it with their expressions. No mistakes, beautiful acting, sharp dialogues, clean screenplay, and stunning fight sequences. This is top notch.
Warrior – “Once you start watching this, there is no tapping out.”
Catch the trailer here.