I couldn't stop myself from reading some reviews before I entered the cinema, thus I knew beforehand that Warrior would be one of these epic Academy Awards films that most of people will like. I normally just watch these kind of films and remain totally indifferent towards their emotional value. I see the technical advantages, but it is usually difficult for these films to make me feel emotional. Warrior has made my throat dry.
It is definitely not a film of the year, nor is it the best film about fighting. I can come up with at least three titles that impressed me so much more than Warrior (The Wrestler is the film that stunned me completely, and to be honest I don't believe there is any other fighting movie that will ever make me feel like The Wrestler did); however, Warrior is a very strong film. Technically it obviously glows. The direction is excellent, every shot tells a story, every use of camera is a spot on and what is the most important, not one fight is boring. And trust me, in Warrior there is a lot of fighting. The script is much more complex than what the poster suggest. Below the story, there is another one and another one and some of them always remain uncover. Although we focus on the main story, and that is the story of two brothers separated in childhood and reconnected on MMA cage in the final battle of the film, however, each of the brothers has layers of stories and reason to become a fighter. Because the film is so well shot, we don't get confused by the amount of information and even after being presented with lots of supporting roles, we never lose interest in the main characters. In the final hour of the film, filled with action and intense fighting, every new fighter is presented so well and every action sequence is so well shot, that I literally couldn't take my eyes off the screen for one second.
As it happens always in Oscar nominated films (and this one will be), Warrior relies on strong performances. Tom Hardy proves that he is so much more than just a supporting actor from Inception and that he can easily take on the whole film and succeed. His character is an asshole, but he is an asshole for a reason. Although we are angry with him, it is difficult not to emphasise with him at the same time. We want him to win as much (or even more) as we want his brother (played by Joel Edgerton) to win. Not only do we support both of the brothers, but also we hope for their father's life to turn out good. It is another ambiguous character, who as an ex alcoholic decides to bury the hatchet with his sons. He is the father that failed in the past, like the father that Mickey Rourke is in the Wrestler, but here there is a hope for him to still win.
Every one of the characters in this film is the warrior deserving to win. Unfortunately, although perfectly shot and well acted, the filmmakers decided to broader the audience of the film by not showing any blood on screen. To me, this was more than distracting. Very realistic fights seemed a confusing when lacking bloody brutality. That is why it is The Wrestler, and not Warrior which wins this fight for me. Still, it is a film worth watching.