'Warrior' Examiner Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello
While it offers a similar theme to last year’s hit biographical sports drama ‘The Fighter,’ the new Lionsgate action film ‘Warrior’ surprisingly offers a unique, detailed backstory and relatable, developed characters. The upcoming drama, which is set to hit area Long Island theaters on Friday, September 9, successfully differentiates itself from the Mark Wahlberg-led vehicle; not only does ‘Warrior’ feature issues many Americans can relate to today, including family estrangement and struggles, it also features believable, memorable performances by its lead actors
Troubled by his turbulent past, including his estrangement from his alcoholic father, Paddy (played by Nick Nolte), and his older brother, Brendan (portrayed by Joel Edgerton), as well as the death of their mother, former Marine Tommy Conlon (played by Tom Hardy) returns home to Pittsburgh for the first time in fourteen years. Tommy asks his father to help him train for Sparta, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history, which is scheduled to take place in Atlantic City over the Fourth of July weekend.
While Tommy wants nothing personal to do with his father or brother, an ex-fighter-turned-physics teacher living in Philadelphia who returns to martial arts in an attempt to save his wife and children from financial ruin, both Paddy and Brendan futilely reach out to him. Tommy instead focuses all of his attention to become an early favorite in Sparta, instead of confronting Brendan, the underdog in the competition, and the problems that pulled them apart.
‘Warrior’s director and co-writer, Long Island native Gavin O’Connor, made the right decision in hiring Hardy and Edgerton in their respective roles. Hardy perfectly understood the anguish and hurt Tommy felt by his father and brother’s betrayals when he was a teenager; neither Paddy nor Brendan supported, or even stayed, with Tommy and their mother when she was sick and dying. While Tommy is a private person who’s afraid to let those who care about him back into his life, Hardy effortlessly conveyed his character’s suffering through his fighting.
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