Director: Gavin O'Connor
Cast: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton
It's almost impossible to talk about Warrior – a film about two brothers entering an MMA fighting competition whilst also fighting the demons of family history – without bringing to mind The Fighter – a film set in the boxing world starting Christian Bale and Mark Whalberg as fighting brothers. Which is a shame, because Warrior is superior in almost every way. For one, the fighting style of MMA, which includes kicks, punches and holds, is far more dynamic than the relatively static world of boxing, with some of the most exhilarating an gripping fight scenes committed to celluloid. On top of this, the two leads are exceptional; Hardy all menacing musclebag as a former marine with serious anger issues; and Edgerton, 'doing a Whalberg', playing the straight man to the more showy performance of his on-screen brother, but with depth of range that is quite compelling. Add to this an incredibly powerful final act pay-off and you have, dare we say it, a contender for greatest fight film since Raging Bull.
Words by Ali Bianchi. Catch Ali's podcast FilmClash.