I’ve always been a boxing fan, movies about this sport have been a tradition in Hollywood, some of them even winning the biggest prize in this business, the Oscar for Best Picture. There is something about hand to hand contact sports that make for intriguing story lines. Check out The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke a couple of years back and you’ll watch one of the saddest engaging stories in recent movie history. Warrior is a movie about Mixed Martial Arts, the recent combat sport that’s making waves throughout the world. It’s no surprise that it’s as engaging and powerful as previous movies based on this kind of sport.
The story deals with two brothers who’s lives have gone in different directions; Brendan is struggling to keep his family’s economy stable, trying to save his house from repossession. As for the other brother, Tommy, an ex marine who comes back home after 14 years, reuniting with his father with the sole purpose of training for MMA’s biggest tournament ever: SPARTA. As they start their road they soon find out that their road has them on an collision course. The road to the tournament couldn’t be any different. Tommy is more of a villain, think Mike Tyson, tough rough, old school power fighter with the sole purpose of hurting his opponent as bad as he can so he advances and creates fear in his next opponent. Meanwhile Brendan is more of a finesse fighter, studies his opponents throughout the fight sometimes dealing with pain before finally breaking down their style and using it against them to finish the fight. All this makes for in-movie anticipation for their matchup.
Once you start getting in to the heat of the movie, you realize how much it borrows from similar movies. I won’t blame them for doing to this, it’s quite easy considering the kind of characters you have. Still, if you are considering this movie for the award season, think again, it’s filled with too much cliches to be contemplated as a possibility. The best part of the movie is when the fights begin. For some reason the fights bring the drama up a notch regarding the story of both characters, and watching them how they deal with adversity in the cage, you can better understand how they dealt with their own life’s problems. The main problem I have with this movie is the fact that Brendan and Tommy are brothers. Some may say i’m crazy but I don’t like the idea of brothers almost killing each other, even if this is one of the oldest tales in human history. It just felt disturbing. I don’t know, maybe I would never envision myself being in the same situation with my own brother and imagining it just isn’t in me.
Even though Warrior is an MMA movie, it still shares the same kind of drama that Boxing movies have. It also shares the same weaknesses, something boxing movies have been having for 50 years. The movie has very realistic fight sequences, something boxing flicks rarely have, so this is a plus. In the end it’s all about the story, and Warrior has a pretty good one, it just fails to be completely original. I enjoyed it, but felt it was a tad overrated.