“Warrior” Makes “The Fighter” Look Like “Rocky V” [REVIEW, PICS, VIDEO]

Okay so that might be a bit of an overstatement but it’ll definitely exceed all expectations for both moviegoers and critics. In no way am I an MMA fan. Sure, I’ve been punched in the face more times than I care to admit, but I’ve never thrown and landed a punch in my life. Sad, I know. But, the beauty of a great movie (yes, I’m calling “Warrior” great) is that it can take a subject that isn’t necessarily popular on a broad scope and make it relative or interesting to a general audience. You know when the chick you take as a date is clenching your hand so hard you hear bone crackle, that the movie’s awesome. And that’s what happened with “Warrior”. Here’s are the top 4 things I took away from this advanced press screening on August 4th.

1. Tom Hardy (Tommy Conlon) is a motherf***in’ monster.

If the dude doesn’t get nominated for something… anything at the 2012 or 2013 Oscars, it’s fixed. No doubt about it. The guy is a beast. His TRAPS in this movie were out of f***ing control. Bigger than his shoulders. Even more unbelievable? Seeing him BEFORE he started training, just take a look at the before and after above…

2. Joel Edgerton (Brendan Conlon) is Conan O’Brien’s long lost twin

He’s also a pretty decent actor. His physique might not be as impressive as Tom’s but that’s the point. He pulled off loving husband, caring dad, engaging teacher, scorned son and tough fighter flawlessly. But, the entire time, I’m waiting for him to do the string puppet pants dance.

3. Jennifer Morrison (Brendan’s Wife) is the perfect mate

And I don’t mean that in the Stepford Wives kinda way either. I’ve never seen House or the Star Trek reboot, so forgive me for my ignorance, but hot damn, J-Mo has got it going on. I always feel for the actresses that get stuck with ‘annoying wife or girlfriend’ role in a sports movie – you know, the Adrian types? Bitching and moaning and crying and scolding and withholding sex. F*** you, Adrien. Go die in a house fire. Anyway, Jennifer ‘modernizes’ the hesitant domestic partner archetype and brings it to a more genuine place. She worries for her husband’s well-being and considers the influence his fighting will have on the children, but she slowly finds understanding in her husband’s intentions and becomes supportive. After all, he’s trying to save your f***ing house. Give him credit for having some balls.


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Photo via FreakingNews.com (click to see original)

4. Nick Nolte (Paddy Conlon) might be dying

His voice … is just… haunting. Forget about a frog in the throat, dude has the entire Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle squad down there. His face looks like a bowl of oatmeal. This was (for me at least) a departure from his previous roles. I’ll always remember him as the hard-nosed cop in 48 Hours. In a way, it’s easy to see his character in “Warrior” as a natural extension or evolutionary result of that cop. Someone who was intimidating, who got caught up in a vice, fell from grace, turned on family, alienated loved ones, then needed divine intervention to curb his alcoholism and reconnect with the people he scarred. Though there were some borderline comical moments from Nick’s character, Paddy Conlon, one might argue it was intentionally so. He’s just so sad. He’s become a child. It’s heartbreaking.

Without giving away any spoilers, I will guarantee this – you’ll have one of those overwhelming feelings during one part of the movie, particularly during a match, where a wave of emotion overcomes you. Sounds corny, but it will happen. When it does, scream out, “Neal Lynch was right!” and rear naked choke-hold the person sitting in front of you.


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