Review: TDKR Star Tom Hardy in Warrior
Last month, The “It Girl” of The Dark Knight Rises, Anne Hathaway (playing Catwoman/Selina Kyle in the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy) was all over the news, the internet and the social networks as she promoted her latest movie One Day. This week, two of her fellow TDKR cast members, Tom Hardy (starring as Bane) and Marion Cotillard are promoting their new flicks Warrior and Contagion.
I live by the belief that comparing two films with similar ideas is a waste of energy and examining creative development. That being said, comparing Warrior, the new mixed martial arts film starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton to this past years’ Oscar winning boxing film The Fighter, is a convoluted mistake. While both are fight films, one relies more on the presence of the story while the other relies on a strong narrative.
Everyone loves an underdog story and that’s why the Fighter was so appealing but it’s also a played out vehicle in a time when the relevancy of boxing has declined. Warrior relies on not the spirit of seeing the character conquer adversity but the relative nature of working and dedicated men suffering through moral dilemmas and hardships to grasp their prize and overcome their past.
For this reason, I can see why Warrior can be viewed as the modern day underdog film. Both main characters, brothers Brendan (Edgerton) and Tommy (Hardy) fight against a rough past, one more damaging than the other. Both brothers have escaped the tortures and distrust of their alcoholic father (played by Nick Nolte) but one has come out more damaged by it.
The acting in this movie was stellar. Nick Nolte who plays “Paddy Conlon”, has outdone himself. I agree with critics who believe he should win a golden statue for his role in this film. Joel Edgerton who plays “Brendan Conlon”, really did a wonderful job in his role. He made me believe in the underdog and his unyielding hope to save his family. Tom Hardy who plays “Tommy Conlon”, also did a phenomenal job in his role. I can’t wait to see him in more dramatic films. And I really enjoyed seeing Kevin Dunn who plays “Principal Zito”; he also did a great job.
Overall, this movie really shocked me. I expected more UFC fighting, but instead I actually got an inspiring movie about hope, perseverance, and family. Of course there are things I wish the movie would’ve included and the beginning of this film wasn’t the best; but again.. I loved it. I’m still shocked by that. If you don’t like action or fight films, you still may enjoy this because again… it’s more about family and the action is secondary. I give this movie a solid 8 ½ out of 10. Good film, great acting.
Greetings again from the darkness. It’s always a bit thrilling when a movie catches us off-guard and is much more than expected. Walking in, I was all set for a testosterone fueled fight fest featuring BS bravado and mounds of machismo. While that element is abundantly present, writer/director Gavin O’Connorwraps the fighting around a pretty interesting story about family, bravery, desperation, pride and forgiveness.
The story begins with the convergence of a broken family – two brothers and their father. The split occurred many years ago, and without the details, we are able to piece together that dad (Nick Nolte) was a violent drunken ex-Marine and the mother planned to take the two boys and run. One of the brothers (Joel Edgerton) had fallen in love and decided to stay with dad. The younger brother (Tom Hardy) went with mom and even nursed her through her final days of cancer prior to his joining the Marines. The three men have been incommunicado for years, until one day Tommy (Hardy) shows up on Nolte’s doorstep.
What sets this one apart is the details of each of the brother’s stories, very little of which I will discuss here. There is a terrific scene on the Atlantic City beach where their demons confront each other and we see that so much pain and bitterness exists despite their having been teenagers at the time of the split. They each felt abandoned by the other. Now one is an angry ex-Marine and the other is a desperate physics teacher with a family. This story couldn’t possibly end any place other than smack in the middle of an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) cage fight!