WARRIOR

Brotherly love?
Brotherly love?
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(12A) 140mins

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte

I THINK I may be in the minority, but this movie left me rather unmoved.

I’m not a great fan of ‘sports’ films, though The Fighter was a rare one that took my interest. Rather like ‘Raging Bull’, the sport took a back seat to a very strong human story.

There will be those who say Warrior does just that, but I beg to differ.

Apparently, mixed martial arts contests are the fastest growing ‘sport’ in the USA, though for me it just looked like one step up from brawling in a cage.

What managed to keep my attention was some excellent acting from Edgerton, Hardy and Nolte, playing the two Conlon brothers and their dad.

Paddy Conlon (Nolte) is a retired boxer whose heavy drinking meant his family split when his sons were young.

Tommy (Hardy) took off with his mother, while Brendan (Edgerton) stuck around the family home as he had fallen in love with a local girl.

For various reasons both the sons need money and both are pretty nifty at mixed martial arts.

So both are keen to enter and win the prestigious new tournament, with its winner takes all pot of several million.

The whole over the top TV ‘coverage’ of the event seemed embarrassingly true to life.

And for the final hour we had all manner of beefcake flexing their muscles and trying to knock their opponent senseless.

For me, the ending was signposted well before it arrived and the use of the hand-held camera and split screen were just annoying.

However, I heard plenty of positive comments from people in the audience - but I won’t be buying the DVD.

three out of five stars

Steve Payne

Screening courtesy of Cineworld Crawley.