In 1982 two science fictions film were released around the same time; one was Spielberg’s E.T the Extra Terrestrial, the other was John Carpenter’s The Thing. Both are fine pieces of cinema; but caught in the whirlwind of Spielberg’s blockbuster, Carpenter’s interpretation of The Thing flopped badly at the box office.
Fast forward 30 years, and both are seen as classics, with the latter finding a home on VHS, DVD and now Blu Ray. This same tale could also be the story behind Warrior and the brilliant biopic The Fighter.
Whereas The Fighter gained all the hype and publicity from its true story origins, Warrior went largely unnoticed around the same time.
Without trying to sell The Fighter short, Warrior is every bit as engrossing and impressive.
It focusses on the contrasting lives of Tommy; a war veteran with a shady past, and his brother Brandon, who needs big money fast to ensure he doesn’t lose his house. Both turn to an Mixed Martial Arts tournament for redemption, but for very different reasons.
Although the film centres around MMA, it is very much about this broken relationships within a family; with a star turn by Nick Nolte as their recovering alcoholic dad/trainer.
The film is very much split into two parts, with the scene set for both parties in the first half, and the second half is tournament itself in all its brutal glory. And it is brutal as well, the action scenes are fantastic and very realistic; even with a cameo from wrestler Kurt Angle playing Russian juggernaut Koba.
Despite its brutal story, Gavin O’Connor’s film is beautifully shot, with some fantastic set pieces; including a reunion of the two brothers on a dark beach being overlooked by Caesars Palace; with the weight of the city, the occasion and the prize ($5M) almost metophorically crushing them.
As well as Nolte, Hardy and Joel Edgerton both excel in lead roles, with the latter seeming more rational in his reasons, whereas Hardy’s Tommy seems hellbent on destruction to help erase his own demons.
As combat films go, and they are alot of great ones; Warrior is certainly one of the finest in a long time.
Check it out now, you will not disappointed.