“Warrior” is the surprise tear-jerker of the year. Why such a surprise? For one, it’s called “Warrior,” which gives the immediate impression of heroic, muscle-bound manliness. Secondly, its story centres around mixed martial arts, a sport in which beefy men willingly take part in beating one another to a misshapen pulp, which of course brings us back to the manliness factor. One gets the distinct notion that it’s a testosterone-fuelled man-movie, so imagine my shock when I found myself battling away tears in the film‘s second half; this, I must admit, was a battle I lost.
The film, which is co-written and directed by Gavin O’Connor (“Pride and Glory”), is a mishmash of sports action and family melodrama. As such, one is reminded of David O. Russell’s “The Fighter,” which tread similar ground last year, and did it quite well. However, “Warrior” manages to better “The Fighter” in both areas; the sports action and the family melodrama are handled much more effectively, working together to successfully reduce you to a blubbering blob weeping on the floor.
We are presented with two protagonists and a prominent supporting character. Our two protagonists are brothers; one is Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton, “Legend of the Guardians”) and the other is Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”). The prominent supporting character is their father, Paddy (Nick Nolte, “Tropic Thunder”).
They are what you might call a broken family. Paddy is a recovering alcoholic (his 1,000th day of sobriety is coming up) who hasn’t spoken to his two sons in years. Brendan and Tommy have also not spoken in years; they barely exist to each other, though what they do share is a bitterness towards their father, as well as skills in the world of mixed martial arts… (Continue Reading)
The best thing I can say about “Killer Elite” is that it held my interest; this, as you may assume, is something I crave from each and every movie I watch. While viewing “Killer Elite,” I acknowledged that it had the general appearance of a generic, seen-it-all-before action flick and I must admit I ended up a little lost in the story at some points (crammed-in plot twists tend to have that effect). However, a feeling of boredom never registered; then again, I suppose boredom would be difficult to encounter, what with all the ear-shattering gunshots, deafening explosions and overall noisiness thundering out from the loudspeakers.
Yes, “Killer Elite” is another one of those noisy, aggressive, high-octane actioners, and it stars a master of said area of cinema. This is Jason Statham (“The Mechanic”), who’s brought all his natural Cockney geezer charm to the film’s leading role. He’s cool, he’s charismatic, he’s got proper action skills and he’s got a rather attractive stubble going on; what’s not to like about this lovely, lovely man?
He stars as Danny Bryce, a professional assassin and best bud of a fellow assassin aptly named Hunter (Robert De Niro, “Little Fockers”). Danny, deciding to be a cliché, has had enough of killing, and chooses to give up the job to live with his beautiful Australian girlfriend (Yvonne Strahovski, “Chuck”). One year later, Danny gets a envelope in the mail containing a Polaroid picture of Hunter appearing to be a little bit kidnapped.
Danny goes to visit the kidnapper, who it turns out is a dying Omani sheik (Rodney Afif, “Checkpoint”). The sheik wants Danny to kill the three SAS men who murdered three of his four sons. He wants to hear their confessions. He wants the killings to look like accidents. And he wants to know that they are dead before his own predicted death six months from now, otherwise Hunter shall be killed… (Continue Reading)
(for more film reviews visit JustAnotherMovieBlog)