Warrior was hands down one of my most anticipated movies of this year and a film that once I started seeing trailers for only made me want to see it that much more. It took me a lot longer than I wanted it to in order for me to finally see it and quite frankly that was upsetting for me. I’m at the point now where I have to see everything Tom Hardy is in especially with The Dark Knight Rises coming out next summer in which he plays Bane.

Warrior is a sports drama directed by Gavin O’Connor, the man who gave us Miracle, and it stars the previously mentioned Tom Hardy(Inception, Bronson), Joel Edgerton(Smokin Aces, Star Wars Episode II and III), Nick Nolte(Thin Red Line, Cape Fear, Affliction), and Jennifer Morrison(TV’s House and Once Upon A Time).

The basic premise of the film is two brothers, Tommy and Brendan played by Hardy and Edgerton, join an MMA tournament for two totally different reasons and it just so happens that they end up facing each other at the end of the tournament for the championship This is something that is shown in the trailers that I kind of wish they would have left out cause I think the film would have been that much more gripping if I didn’t know these two men were going to win all of their fights up until they faced each other. With that being said this film is so much deeper than just two brothers joining a tournament and fighting each other. First off they take two different paths and have two totally different reasons for joining this tournament and fighting. Secondly, this family has been destroyed and relationships have been ruined, all of this as a back story and seeing what goes on was highly enjoyable to watch. Lastly, you have the other back story that rises of Tommy as a Marine, and him being a war hero and a deserter. There are many things going on outside the fighting aspect that keeps you intrigued, something I feel O’Connor did an excellent job at.

When I hear that an actor is being thrust into a role that intrigues me or that I am looking forward to I tend to take in a lot of their stuff and try to picture them in the role. I did that with Henry Cavill in this years Immortals, preparing to see him as Superman(who is also my favorite superhero). It is happening again with Tom Hardy, who as previously mentioned is going to play Bane in the next Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. When I first heard that Christopher Nolan cast Hardy as Bane all I had to do was look back at his performance in Bronson and know that he was going to be a phenomenal Bane. Throw in the fact that Nolan worked with Hardy on Inception just adds that much more to the equation. After seeing Warrior and seeing Hardy’s performance my feet are cemented to the ground. Not only is Hardy going to be a phenomenal Bane, the guy is also becoming one of my favorite actors. The guy is phenomenal and applies all he has to the roles that he is given. This role was very emotionally and physically challenging but Hardy pulled it off perfectly and was believable in doing it. While watching the film you can tell he had been working on adding mass for his role in The Dark Knight Rises cause the dude was massive in this film. I’m looking forward to seeing him in The Dark Knight Rises next year but also in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in a couple weeks here in the US.

Another strong performance was given by Nick Nolte, who played the father to Tommy and Brendan. The role was very emotionally driven and as horrible of a father he was was when they were growing up you still found a way to feel sorry for him and that is due in part to the awesome performance by Nolte. Joel Edgerton who for the most part has been a B movie actor gives a strong performance but nothing really jumped out at you the way Hardy and Nolte did.

As an avid MMA fan I was interested in how realistic the fighting would be in this film and for the most part I was surprised. There was some unrealistic things that happened that seemed very wrestling esque, but those scenes mostly happened during the fights in which a character played by Kurt Angle were in so it was understandable. Other than those few scenes though I feel the fighting was spot on. It was all stuff that I would have seen if I had been watching a UFC card. Sure some fights maybe would have been stopped at times when they weren’t in the film, but this was a film, it wasn’t real MMA so it’s going to be a little on the unrealistic side. If you don’t understand that going in than you shouldn’t be watching this anyways. Also I’d like to add that Tom Hardy’s character, Tommy, was a beast. He went in there demolishing everyone that stood across the Octagon with him, it was great. He was like a man possessed, a man with a mission, and he played it perfectly.

The film most definitely lived up to the expectations that I set on it. It went from being one of my most anticipated films of the year to one of my favorite films of the year. When award season rolls around I think this film could be nominated for a few awards starting with Tom Hardy and probably Nick Nolte. I just feel like those two performances were way too strong to go unnoticed. But there still are a few films to come that I am looking forward to and that could deliver performances that jump above them, but these two are going to be hard to forget because of the emotional aspect to them. These two men were spot on and this film was spot on. This is a must see from this year and a film that I highly recommend to everyone.