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Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy in Warrior

dvd of the week

One of the great surprises of last summer, the mixed martial arts drama Warrior has a somewhat hard-to-believe plot, but that is subsumed by the intensity and authenticity of the performances and the scenes in the cage. Inception’s Tom Hardy seems to be channeling some cross between Rocky-era Sylvester Stallone and On the Waterfront-era Marlon Brando; he is the size of a gorilla and as angry as a rabid one. It would be perhaps too simple if not for a scene with a cowed Nick Nolte toward the end that flips our opinion of Tommy completely – he is more than a furious brute. But Joel Edgerton, in the Aussie’s first major role in an American film, is the biggest surprise here. As the sensitive, guilt-ridden family man and the smarter, rather than the bigger, fighter, he learns more of love and support than the damaged, unnerving Hardy. This is an excellent family drama masquerading as, and slightly hampered by being, a sports film. The final scene, as powerful and gut-wrenching as anything I’ve seen this year, merges the two genres brilliantly. I surprised myself and cried.

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2011. Filed under DVD of the Week. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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