‘Warrior’ reinvigorates sports genre

Warrior reinvigorates sports genre

‘Warrior’ reinvigorates sports genre

Aaron DuRall

Sports films have a tendency to be a dime a dozen. Often trite, dated and irrelevant to modern interests, the genre has a gift of producing films that are uninspired at best. “Warrior”, a coming-of-age tale of blood ties and redemption, somehow manages to break the mold and bring life to a genre whose most recent achievement was “Remember the Titans,” which made its debut almost 11 years ago.

In Warrior the emotions hit every bit as hard as the punches. Focused on the world of UFC and MMA fighting, Warrior provides some of the best fight scenes ever produced for a film.

There is nothing flawed about these scenes. They are seamless and present with such a realistic flare that you’re likely to find yourself shouting at the screen as if you were watching an actual event.

Primarily set in beachfront Atlantic City, Warrior finds its introduction in blue-collar Pittsburgh, Pa. Following Tommy Riordan (Tom Hardy), the film begins by setting a dark tone with a war-torn man who returns home to a once alcoholic father, Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte), after 15 years of absence.

Within minutes, the audience is given insight into the turmoil that befell the family years before. Notle, a former boxer and Hardy’s former trainer, is nearing a milestone for sobriety.

However, Hardy has little to no desire to repair the strained relationship between he and his father – he is only looking for a trainer. Similarly, Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), the estranged brother and son of both Nolte and Hardy, shares the same animosity toward his father.

Edgerton, a former MMA fighter who has become a beloved high school science teacher, finds himself in the midst of a financial crisis that threatens to force him and his family out of their home.

In an effort to raise money to remedy the situation, Edgerton begins participating in less than glamorous fights for a mere $500.00 each. After being suspended from his teaching job for his participation in fighting for money, he is left no choice but to step back in the ring.

In a twist of fate, both Edgerton and Hardy wind up contestants in the world’s biggest MMA tournament, known as Sparta. Hardy, fighting to help his fallen comrade’s family, and Edgerton, fighting to save his family’s home, the two clash in a no holds barred squabble that proves to be one for the books.

All in all, Nolte, Hardy, and Edgerton deliver what are easily three of the best dramatic performances to grace the silver screen this year. As previously stated, the punches hit hard, however, the emotional force of the film hits even harder.