Warrior (2011) – 4/5

Decent fighting film that isn’t particularly remarkable save a few great performances and the display of a crazy fighting style that doesn’t seem humanly possible at times, but what do I know? It’s relatively predictable otherwise, save the last 20 minutes or so, and is pretty much what you’d expect from a sports movie with no real message or point to it other than to rehash what’s been done hundreds of times before. Still, it’s not terrible.

The best thing about the film is the acting, and the fight scenes near the end, but what would a fighting film be without good fight scenes? Tom Hardy is great here, though; I’d heard a lot about him but never knew who the hell he was until this movie, and I can now see why he gets the accolades he does. I’d be interested to see if he can play any other kind of roles, though, as his look and voice and overall angry, gruff, emotionally troubled demeanor seem to suggest the person he really is rather than a persona he’s taking on and playing for the camera. He seems destined to be pigeonholed as the angry tough guy, in other words, as that’s probably who he is in real life. He’s very good at it, don’t get me wrong, and has plenty of time to prove himself to be a versatile actor, I just can’t see how he will, is all.

And Jennifer Morrison, from House, is also really good here despite being little more than the pretty housewife/moral support of the main character. She sure does spend a lot of time in her underwear here, not that I’m complaining. Nick Nolte is okay, nothing special. I could barely understand what he was saying half the time, which I guess people pass off as good character acting these days. Hardy was better.

Overall, yeah, a decent movie, suspenseful at times; has its moments. The film is pretty forgettable otherwise, and not very deep or unique or even particularly emotional. It’s a little too structured, by the nose, with a strange revelation at the beginning of the third act that is neither well explained nor very logical. Plot developments feel forced, and most are simply unnecessary. Also, since when do school administrators care whether their teachers engage in professional fighting matches on their own time, especially when they know said teacher is only doing it because he desperately needs the money? I mean, is it really that big of a deal?

Eh. Watch if you like sports movies, or you’re not familiar with Tom Hardy and want to see what all the hoopla surrounding him is all about.

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