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You won't forgive me, but you'll forgive Pop?


Warrior
(2011)

Reviews for this have been generally pretty good, and while I'm not a sports enthusiast I'm a sucker for against-the-odds tales. But this is so weighed down with shameless heartstring tugging and doused in cheesy directorial and music moments (audience reaction to fights always seems like a lack of trust that the viewers can get there themselves) that it undoes the tremendous work done by Nick Nolte, Joel Edgerton and in particular Tom Hardy.

Hardy's almost demonically possessed, and the fighting style he adopts is quite hilariously succinct. I was never that convinced by Edgerton's underdog challenging just in terms of how ill-matched he seemed but I know nothing about the logistics of mixed martial arts. 

Gavin O'Connor as co-writer (director too) deserves blame and praise equally, then. He stages the fights rousingly, but the two brothers competing against each other is sufficient enough hook without stacking the odds ludicrously for each in terms of personal investments in winning. O'Connor's previous film, Pride and Glory, was similarly hamstrung by a dreadfully clumsy script, so I suggest O'Connor sticks to directing in future.

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