Friday, September 9, 2011

Box Office Review - Warrior

When making a sports movie the first thing to consider is that the sport does not matter. What matters is the character or characters that the film is about. Rocky isn't a great movie because it is about boxing, it is a great movie because the film takes its time getting to know Mr. Balboa. The sport in Rocky could have been table tennis instead of boxing and the movie still would have worked. That might be an exaggeration |(ok, it is a real exaggeration), but character should always be the most important part of a sports drama.

Warrior is about two brothers competing in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. It is a perfect example of a sports film that is entirely about character development. Don't be mistaken, the fight scenes are extremely impressive and exciting, but the real triumph of this film are the characters.

Nick Nolte plays Paddy Colon the father of two boys, Tommy played by Tom Hardy and Brendan played by Joel Edgerton. Both sons are fighters, but they couldn't be less similar. Tommy the prodigal son is a bruiser who can dish out a lot of punishment. Brendan is a family man able to withstand any punishment given to him. Both of their fighting characteristics also apply to how they live their lives.

The acting by everyone involved in Warrior is impressive. Tom Hardy is a chameleon of an actor who can slip in and out of roles and still fully inhabit a character. Even though Tommy is a secretive and a somewhat nondescript character, Hardy stills makes him a fascinating and sympathetic character. Equally impressive as Hardy's performance is Joel Edgerton playing Brendan. It is easy to accept that this former fighter has become a physics teacher and a family man and that is because of Edgerton's convincing portrayal.

It is pretty rare that a new film will contain elements that are unique or original. Warrior features a lot of things that have be done before. The film follows the standard training than competing in a tournament formula that has been featured in countless other films. The movie even has a training montage at the midway point. None of this is a negative, however. The film makes all of these elements its own and had me unsure of how the film would end. This is an accomplishment and I applaud the film for it. Hailing a film on its first weekend of release as a classic is jumping the gun, but I am willing to bet that overtime this film will be thought of as such.

A Gold Banana

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