Basically you’ve got Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy), a former champion wrestler and Marine who has come back into to town to visit his father Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte), who he hasn’t seen in many years. Being very unforgiving towards his father for being a washed up drunk – now sober for 1000 days, Tommy approaches his father to train him for an MMA tournament, in the same fashion he trained him as a wrestler.
This tournament is an elimination styles tournament with the final champion taking a purse of $5,000,000. As a former marine, Tommy sees this as a way to help out the family of a fallen comrade who are experiencing difficult times.
The situation is strained however as Paddy tries his best to connect with his son, having cleaned up his act all he wants his to see his boys again, meanwhile Tommy is cold wants nothing to do with him besides training, and is quite blunt and ruthless towards his vulnerable father.
Meanwhile Tommy’s brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton) is raising a family nearby, and teaching Physics at a local high school. Having trained most of his life like his brother, Tommy used to be a professional MMA fighter, and even fought in the UFC. But decided to take a different career path as a father – not wanting to be a guy who gets beaten up for a living.
With the bank looking to foreclose on his house, Brendan decides to start fighting again to raise some money and protect the hosue he’s worked so hard to have for his family.
This movie is centered around family disputes. With the main character being Brendan – the clean cut hard working family man, he naturally is somewhat disconnected from his former alcoholic father and problematic brother Tommy. Whilst Paddy has cleaned up his act, Brendan still has trouble trusting him due to his dark past, and also the fact the he was always second to his brother Tommy.
As kids Tommy was the achiever who showed the most promise in wrestling, so Paddy neglected Brendan somewhat and this has created a strained relationship. Also with Tommy’s background and awesome athletic ability, Brendan is left as some sort of underdog among the other fighters and his brother.
Tommy has some serious anger issues and uses his father strictly for training purposes – refusing to forgive him after the way he treated their mother. This also relates back to Brendan, who left to marry his now wife, leaving Tommy and his mother – who died shortly afterwards from a severe sickness.
This creates a rivalry between the two brother as Brendan claims to have ‘forgiven’ Tommy, while Tommy claims it should be the other way around – Brendan begging Tommy for his forgiveness.
This whole situation gets very complicated and heated and escalates right through the competition.
The rivalry between the two brother is represented in a good vs evil; David vs Goliath style of match up.
Brendan is the Physics teacher, a clean cut family man who has worked in a job that isn’t very physically demanding. On top of that he is the less gifted between the two brothers (physically) and achieved less as a child, also being neglected as his father Paddy favored Tommy. More so, he enters in desperation to save his home.
Tommy is interesting, he a former Marine, his father’s favorite and has a long list of accomplishments behind him. His build in comparison to Brendans is solid a intimidating and he’s driven heavily by anger.
When the competition starts the crowd and commentators look upon Brendan as weak link with his background. In opposite fashion Tommy is the hero after saving a group of men in the military, ripping the door off a tank. The crows cheers his name and see him as a hero. Also a tape is leaked of Tommy beating the hell out of the worlds top middleweight contender in a sparring match.
As any athlete of fighter would know, the psychological effects of being the underdog can hinder their performance, and this creates an almost insurmountable force for Brendan to defeat in order to win. It’s not until his trainer tells him “if you lose this, you don’t have a home” that Brendan seems to snap and uses his excellent Jiu Jitsu skills to stake apart his opponents.
Before I describe what I like about the fights in this movie I’d like to describe my reaction.
When watching these fights I was sitting forward the whole time, and found myself immersed in each fight as if it were an actual MMA fight with no certain winner.
The fights and enviroment if these scenes seemed real. The techniques and general feel of the fights were so authentic, with each of the actors showing off some convincing stand up and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills.
As a guy who teaches Muay Thai and training in BJJ regularly, it was so intriguing to watch and was done marvelously. Some of the best work I’ve seen in an MMA based film.
MMA fans will love the fights and the ‘warrior attitude’ behind this movies plot. But on all accounts this movie tells an awesome story of family disputes and overcoming to odds as a underdog. Watch it!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Warrior on Blu-ray
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, etc)
Warrior on Blu-ray
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Warrior on DVD
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Warrior on DVD
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Warrior on DVD