Starring: Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Gavin O'Connor
Written by: Gavin O'Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorgman
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Main Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Rated: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense mixed martial arts fighting, some language and thematic material
Runtime: 139 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: 12/20/2011
HTS Overall Score:90
Haunted by a tragic past, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for SPARTA, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. But when Brendan's unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.
Every once in a while we are treated to a pleasant surprise of a film that stirs our emotions so much that we actually find ourselves pulled in and cheering by the end. Warrior is just such a film. I really enjoyed this movie as it struck a nerve with me on several fronts. First there is the ‘underdog’ angle and almost everyone loves an underdog story. Then there is the fighting in the movie, which seems to always stir something primitive within me as I imagine a lot of people could find some appeal in the thought of being paid to fight. Lastly there is the family element and it’s almost serendipitous that I should watch it around the holidays when it seems that family stress levels can be at their highest levels.
Tom Hardy gives another outstanding performance in Warrior and his commitment to his art shines brightly as he plays the brooding, self-loathing troubled man running from the destruction of his past. But I have to say that Nick Nolte knocks it out of the park in a performance that really just grips you and doesn’t let you go. The rest of the cast did fine jobs themselves but simply don’t exude the same caliber of Hardy and Nolte’s performances. Bravo gentlemen, bravo!
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=7725[/img]The action in the film takes about 45 minutes to an hour to really start kicking in, until that point the fight scenes are sporadic and used more as a character development tool than something that actually starts to push the film forward. But once the fighting starts watch out because it is a great ride.
There seems to be a genuine quality to this film and in the performances in that the story feels a lot more real than say a Rocky or other type of underdog fair and the actors come across as fully vested in their performances. All I’m saying is that when my bride puts down her new Kindle Fire to watch a movie, there is usually something gripping about it.
The 1080P AVC transfer for Warrior is about as good as it needs to be for this type of film. There is a sufficient amount of grain that gives the film a very unpolished and realistic quality. Colors are spot on within a given scene and dependent on the lighting of said scene in order to bring out the quality of each hue. Flesh tones are equally dependent on the scene and the light or absence thereof. Dark scenes such as one about 20 minutes in that involves Brendon sitting in his bathroom as his Tess tends to his wounds and scolds him for fighting is a near perfect representation of that time of early morning when the sun is rising yet everything is shadowed. Speaking of which, shadows are gradational and clearly delineated throughout the film and the resolution is as sharp as I've ever seen. I found the overall video presentation to a gritty but an awesome sight to see. I couldn't find any deficiencies with this transfer, but there was quite a bit of natural grain giving the film that gritty look I mentioned earlier.
The DTS-HD-MA for Warrior is equally impressive with great surround activity starting at the halfway point with the roar of the crowds as the cheer on their favorite brawlers. However; for the most part the audio is directed at the front soundstage as dialogue really is the driving factor at work here. Sure, there are some great impacts during the fights but they are few and far between. I am rating the audio on par only because when I compare the audio to say something like The Fighter, I think it falls just a hint short.
- Feature Audio Commentary
- Redemption: Bringing 'Warrior' to Life Documentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Brother vs. Brother
- Philosophy in Combat
- Simply Believe
As I said early on, 'Warrior' is the kind of underdog story that will have you cheering but it will also grip your emotions as two brothers literally fight through the past in five rounds and ultimately find forgiveness and redemption. Any fan of sports films, dramas or fighting films should not hesitate about just buying this one outright as I have no doubt that it is the type of movie you will want to show to others and watch again yourself. The A/V isn’t reference quality by any means but it doesn’t have to be in this movie because the goal of Warrior is not to bombard you with special effects and incredible sound, the goal is to engage you and bring you into the struggles of this family and on that front it triumphantly succeeds. Highly Recommended!
Recommendation: Buy It!
Official Blu-Ray Reviews Scoring