Bros take Rocky road

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

IN THE bru­tally com­pelling drama War­rior, the boom­ing mixed mar­tial arts ( MMA) scene fi­nally gets its very own Rocky.

In what some fans might well con­sider a bar­gain, War­rior ac­tu­ally of­fers two rous­ing un­der­dog tales for the price of one.

By film’s end, a pair of down- and- out­ers will par­tic­i­pate in a tele­vised smack­down at an At­lantic City enormo- dome for a sur­vivor­takes- all- purse of $ 5 mil­lion.

Oh and did I men­tion the strap­ping scrap­pers are broth­ers? Well now you know.

Very craftily acted and staged for what is es­sen­tially a for­mula flick, War­rior plays out in two dis­tinct halves.

First up, we fol­low es­tranged sib­lings Brendan ( Joel Edger­ton, pic­tured) and Tommy Con­lan ( Tom Hardy) as they re­vive their dor­mant MMA skills af­ter a long time out of the ring and an even longer pe­riod out of con­tact with each other.

The re­spon­si­bil­ity of pro­vid­ing for a fam­ily meant Brendan left the sport for se­cure ten­ure as a school­teacher. Tommy did time as a sol­dier in Iraq. They fell out when their home life dis­in­te­grated in their younger days.

Brendan has some un­con­ven­tional coach­ing from a new- agey men­tor ( Frank Grillo). Tommy joins forces with his muchde­spised dad Paddy ( Nick Nolte).

Though you could prob­a­bly take or leave the first half, you will be glued to your seat once the big tour­na­ment starts.

The ex­tended fight scenes – and I’m not kid­ding when I call then ex­tended – are thump- tas­ti­cally con­vinc­ing, and far more in­volv­ing than many MMA new­bies could fea­si­bly ex­pect.

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