REVIEW: Warrior

Many times, particularly in this generation, we have seen films that focus on sportspersons (fictional and real) in their professional and personal lives, which is exactly what was initially expected of Warrior. However, because it involves something rather different sport – mixed martial arts (aka cage-fighting), it became interesting of how different Warrior was going to be in comparison to previous recent films of that type. Nonetheless, Warrior does suffer from repetition due to the message and the style of filming but it also added something else to the table, so to speak, and became a very enjoyable sports film that is definitely worth a watch.

Throughout most recent years, we see the same old sport-dramas which are usually underdog stories that add inspiration and courage, which usually catches the audience’s attention. However, with Warrior, it still worked but the main problems that it faces is that it lacked that emotional and realistic atmosphere that we have seen before. It is not necessarily the fault of any of the crew or cast members. Times are changing and the theme of where Warrior was introduced is slowly fading away due to repetition. What David O’Russell did with The Fighter and Ron Howard with Cinderella Man were truly remarkable and Gavin O’Connor deserves credit for his work at his attempt at providing us something different. Although, he did manage to transform Warrior into a very physical film, regarding in the ring, story-wise and other areas of direction were not anything major. O’Connor could have given us a huge disappointment but he didn’t and Warrior is a solid enough attempt at a slowly fading theme of genre.

Right before we experience Tom Hardy as the ruthless Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, he provided us with a glimpse at what to expect as he portrayed former marine Tommy Conlon. Although Hardy’s performance was a long shot from an Academy Award nomination, he still gave a solid performance. Upon knowing that Hardy was the central figure of the film, he became that immediate underdog protagonist. However, what was surprising was that Joel Edgerton who portrayed Hardy’s on-screen brother became a main character like Tommy on an equal level. This caused minor confusion as there was no initial protagonist and, therefore, the film did not express who is more important and who the audience should be focusing more on. Like Hardy, Edgerton’s performance was decent enough and wasn’t worthy of an Oscar nomination but both actors collaborated together well similarly to Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter.

Furthermore in the cast, Nick Nolte portrayed recovering alcoholic Paddy Conlon in an outstanding Oscar-nominated performance. Nolte, being a former alcoholic himself, perfectly mixes into the nature of the character and following his past experience, Nolte was almost portraying himself in Warrior. This is where his performance relates to Mickey Rourke’s memorable role in The Wrestler. If there is anything that Nolte’s performance shows, it is that if there is a character that faced a traumatic past or faced troubles in parts of life and any actor who had experienced that would make an on-screen character become reality. Nevertheless, Nolte gave a fantastic performance and deserved his Academy Award nomination.

Overall, Warrior is an enjoyable sports drama that does suffer from its one or two flaws but is still worth checking out. There is not all that much to expect from it apart from a different type of sport has been chosen within a dialogue and story background that we have seen countless times over the years. Warrior is far from being one of the best sports films and is even further away from one of the worst, but with the cast and the crew making it at least satisfactory and worthwhile, it is a solid effort.

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~ by SJMJ91 on 13/06/2012.

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