Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Warrior - MMA works just like family therapy

Writer/Director: Gavin O'Connor (as Jenna said, "He'd have to be Irish to do this movie")
Stars: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, and Nick "Mumbles" Nolte

I hate sports movies.  I hate them because they almost always make me cry.  Ok, ok, I love sports movies.  I love them more than the sports themselves.  I love basketball but give me Hoosiers any day over a game between the Utah Jazz and well, some other team I find terribly boring.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being at a live sporting match when I’m invested in one of the teams but being really invested takes time. Time I would rather spend getting invested in movies about sports. 

This brings us to Warrior.  I, of course, really liked it.  I’m one of those rare girls that doesn’t get all "EW!" about boxing.  I don’t know much about MMA or UFC but I do know that most of what they do in a ring is way more fun than regular boxing.  So it may not surprise you to know this was NOT my first MMA movie.  This was, however, the best one I've seen.

Warrior is a story about two brothers fighting for their lives.  If you’ve seen the trailer then you know most of what happens in the movie. 
Starring Joel Edgerton as a smokin' hot physics teacher (wish my physics teacher looked like that) and Tom Hardy as a smokin' hot ex-Marine.  Supporting the two smokin' hot brothers were Nick Nolte as the alcoholic dad and Jennifer "no mother of two looks like her" Morrison as the wife of the physics teacher.  Brendan, the hot physics teacher, is fighting to keep his home.  Tommy, the hot ex-Marine, is fighting to escape from his past.  Their father, an alcoholic not allowed to really make amends, trains one brother while the other goes back to his former gym to be trained by an unorthodox trainer with a penchant for Beethoven. (An aside, whenever I type out Beethoven I hear Bill and Ted saying Beeth-oven. Heh) The plot isn’t new but the story was good.  No matter who won you know their lives would be different.  But therein lies the problem. You can't really not root for both of them equally.  Parents of more than one child are LYING when they say they have no favorites. My parents were so smart to just have one.  Sorry, back to the movie. Who does one root for? Both are hot.  Both have problems they're trying to fix, one no more important than the other.  The movie consistently kept you going back and forth and I appreciated that.  It's a good problem to have.

The other smaller problem was trying to understand what was being said.  Nolte has always had a gravely voice and done a bit of mumbling but he’s reached new levels of gravely mumble. I think the movie could have had some better dialogue but maybe they were banking not having to say much to communicate emotion.  Not being one myself I'd hate to generalize...but I'm under the impression that men tend to have issues communicating like, emotions and feelings and stuff. This movie was probably pretty realistic as far as that goes.

The acting, aside from not understanding some of the sparse dialogue, was good.  The directing was good and I appreciated some of the choices the director and editors made with sound.  It does seem like they were trying for Fighter levels with this but they didn’t achieve it.  I sometimes wonder if directors or even writers think to themselves while in the midst of a project, "This is gonna get some awards."  That would be the time the movie doesn't reach its potential.

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