I guess they called it Warrior because "The Fighter" was already taken, and "Men Punching People" didn't really sound right.
Warrior certainly seems like it's riding on the success of last year's similar fraternal style punch up The Fighter, but perhaps it deserves to be seen with a pair of fresh eyes. It stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as brothers Tommy and Brendan, who parted ways years before due to their abusive alcoholic father (Nick Nolte). Brendan went on to become a family man while Tommy joined the marines, but with Tommy now back in his hometown and Brendan needing some cash, they find themselves drawn to their old hobby of beating the crap out of people in MMA fights. With a high profile tournament coming up, it's up to each brother to prove their worth and come out on top, and perhaps try and heal old wounds along the way.
The three main characters are fantastic. I've been keeping my eye on Tom Hardy since he turned out an amazing performance in Bronson, and he hasn't disappointed me so far. While his character is very quiet and broody, Hardy's body movements and expressions make up for it, and his character progresses very nicely. Edgerton is great as the family man fighting to keep his family living in their house, coming up against all odds and struggling to win the fights and the forgiveness of his brother. Nolte plays the former alcoholic father, longing for forgiveness from his children, and the sadness he portrays in the role is very heartfelt.
Warrior is over two hours long, a little too long in my opinion. Still, all the time is put into building up the characters and their relationships before diving into the tournament itself, so it's good to see that this isn't just a fighting movie, it explores some very personal areas too, much like The Fighter did.
Warrior isn't perfect, but I definitely enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It's got face punching for the men, naked muscly guys for the ladies, but it's also a good movie. Everyone's happy!
My rating: 4/5