Reviews

Warrior

3

Have a go if you’re Hardy enough.

Warrior review

Watching Tom Hardy lay the building blocks for Hollywood ubiquity has been a pleasurable pastime these last few years.

But before The Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max: Fury Road, we have Hardy’s first above-the-title shot in a weighty US production.

He plays Tommy, a cage-fighting brute so rage-filled he’d leave prison monster Charles Bronson (whom Hardy played in 2008) a quivering wreck.

Hardy’s talent for tempering fierce masculinity with deep, soul-aching complexity is given a full airing in this tale of two estranged blue-collar brothers who enter the same international martial-arts tournament, seeking its $1m prize.

Joel Edgerton’s Brendan is the less-skilled elder brother who got the better half of their raw-deal childhood (raised under a barrage of alcoholic abuse by Nick Nolte – ‘nuff said). Yet Tommy enlists their father’s aid, despite resenting him with every fibre.

Charting a trio of redemptive journeys amid a maelstrom of brutality, there are no prizes for guessing where it’s all heading…

Gavin O’Connor’s last film was 2008’s Pride And Glory and, although Warrior runs with a similar vibe of bruising encounters and rancid familial relations, it’s arguably the weaker film. That’s chiefly because O’Connor ends up forsaking potent family dynamics in favour of letting fists and feet fly.

If you’re a cage-fighting fan, or simply feel the more face-pulping the merrier, you’ll be sated. But as impressively realised as they are, Warrior’s relentless brawls undo O’Connor’s dramatic ground-laying, cheating his stars of the chance to dig deeper and leaving the film fizzling to an unsatisfying conclusion.

Verdict:

A tougher, meaner animal than close cousin The Fighter, with Hardy, Edgerton and Nolte at their pugnacious, heart-wrenching best. Shame O’Connor diluted the pay-off.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • writerdave87

      Sep 15th 2011, 0:19

      Three stars? Really? This has been getting rave reviews bloody everywhere, I thought it might actually escape the traditional TF 3 stars :p

      Alert a moderator

    • BobbyTwoTimes

      Sep 15th 2011, 15:49

      Oh dear..... I can see this appearing in a 'Movies we should've given 5 Stars' article somewhere in the future.

      Alert a moderator

    • ashleyrhys

      Sep 17th 2011, 21:58

      5

      I'm sorry but I completely disagree. I saw this film last week and it was nothing short of incredible. Really loved it.

      Alert a moderator

    • FBDBullock

      Sep 21st 2011, 0:25

      I also reviewed this recently and went for 3 stars, it does follow a very constant formula and although the fight scenes are stunning, it does lack a certain charm that the likes of the Fighter had. I don't even think this needed 'charm' and as good as it is, there are pieces missing. By the way, the big 'reviews' have all been very sponsored.

      Alert a moderator

    • FBDBullock

      Sep 21st 2011, 0:25

      1

      Alert a moderator

    • BobbyTwoTimes

      Sep 23rd 2011, 8:47

      5

      I don't normally criticise reviewers comments because, at the end of the day, it's only their opinion, but for a recognised Movie magazine, this is one of the worst reviews for a film i've ever seen (except the 4 stars TF gave Transformers 2). To say that 'Warrior’s relentless brawls undo O’Connor’s dramatic ground-laying' is a joke! The are only two little scraps in the whole first half of this film, then the last hour focuses around the MMA tournament that the two brothers have actually been training for (kinda the whole point of the film!). The emotion felt in the ring, along with the punches, is superbly handled. Mickey Ward aside, I haven't cared this much about the people in the ring since the first Rocky film! Both 'The Fighter' and 'Warrior' deserve all the 5-star plaudits heaped upon them without doubt. And how could any review of this film pass by without even a mention for Nick Nolte's performance??! He was absolutely brilliant and is easily a contender for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar next year. Poor review TF.

      Alert a moderator

    • demmike

      Sep 28th 2011, 0:54

      4

      3 stars? Yes of course. Ahem anyway just got back from seeing this. Total Film got it a tad wrong. It is a 5 star film. Was blown away by it. How did Tom Hardy manage to convey so much whilst barely saying anything? I continue to be amazed by the man. I demand TDKR is released tomorrow!

      Alert a moderator

    • FBJNash

      Oct 5th 2011, 19:15

      i thought the film brillant and hardy`s brooding menace was oscar worthy go and see it

      Alert a moderator

    • Jrdnsans1792

      Oct 13th 2011, 11:12

      3

      A fantastic performance from the always brilliant Tom Hardy and Edgerton and Nolte are superb also, if this film was to be rated purely on the acting then it would no doubt deserve 5 stars. Overall though the film itself is good, but not great. Worthy of only 3 stars, no more, no less, worth a watch but nowhere near as good as you'd expect.

      Alert a moderator