With the rise in popularity of mixed martial arts and the unfortunate decline in boxing, more movies about mixed martial arts have come onto the scene. This is one of them. Although Warrior is touted as the Rocky of mixed martial arts, this movie does have its moments and then none.
The movie stars Joel Edgerton as Brendan Conlon, a former UFC fighter turned physics teacher. Tommy Conlon, his brother who served in Iraq, is played by Tom Hardy. Nick Nolte plays Paddy Conlon, his drunk father who taught them both wrestling and mixed martial arts when they were younger. Jennifer Morrison stars as Tess Conlon, Brendan’s wife. Kevin Dunn plays Principal Zito, the principal of Brendan’s school. Frank Grillo stars as Frank Campana, Brendan’s trainer. Kurt Angle plays Koba, the undefeated Russian mixed martial arts fighter.
The youngest son, Tommy Conlon, returns home to Philadelphia to train with his father in the much-touted Sparta mixed martial arts tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In the meantime, his older brother, Brendan Conlon, prepares for the same after confronting the bank who would take his house away after missing mortgage payments. After they both go their separate ways to train, the two brothers ultimately confront each other. They deal with lots of familial baggage inside and outside of the tournament. Both brothers have something to lose and a lot to gain from winning the Sparta tournament. Meanwhile, Koba poses a major threat to both as they climb the ranks of the tournament ladder.
As most sites compared this movie to Rocky, this movie didn’t quite grab me like Rocky did. This movie’s titular characters, Brendan and Tommy Conlon, lacked charisma in my frank opinion. True, both had something to lose, but it didn’t come to fruition as well as expected. The disparity between the brothers and their father lacked that emotional touch. The Fighter had a better portrayal of familial bonding than this movie. Although the ending was like Rocky, as Brendan, the no-name underdog of the Sparta tournament, defeated trained fighters, I felt like I was cheering for fluff.
Verdict (Out of 10)
Overall, this movie was slightly above-average. For me, this movie deserves a 7.5 out of 10.