Fight To The Dual
Warrior is an impulsive drama bolstered by thunderous action sequences and, most striking, an agile tonal resolve; moments of intimacy intersect epic engagements, silence supersedes bluster. An undercurrent of desperation reverberates discriminately. Some viewers, I suspect, may find such routine anguish unbearable. I, for one, found it riveting. For Warrior never disassociates from its bleak atmosphere. A "Who Is The Toughest Kid On The Block" Greek-themed tournament distinguishes the third act precisely in this vein: One grief-stricken veteran of war wanders amok while another primary combatant moves with steady, self-assured focus. Echoing this conflicting emotional affectation is Mark Isham's score. Film emphasizes the temporal potency of music and Isham's score, acknowledging this creed, conveys emotional depth with distinct rigor.
The acting is top-notch. Tom Hardy is a forceful performer who's articulations, fierce or tender, demonstrate tonal versatility, a rare quality that will ensure his longevity. Joel Edgerton, whom I first discovered in the spellbinding Aussie crime-drama, Animal Kingdom, is a formidable co-star, and like Hardy, tantalizingly close to achieving immense global acclaim. Edgerton's performance acumen, distinguished by sincere gestures and vigorous intimations, unearths a talent fearlessly robust. But the best acting in Warrior is displayed by the surly, authoritative old-timer, Nick Nolte. His penetrating, distinctive voice, coloring a canvas of sadness and regret, commands steadfast attention while his forceful expression, emanating electricity, mesmerizes throughout. His final, passing shot is, in no uncertain terms, magnificent.
Ultimately, Warrior is triumphant because the fighter's soul drives the action; not the scorecards. Bound by instinct and resolve and motivated by a greater good, courageous, conscientious men, with negligible imperfections, walk among us everyday. Warrior emphasizes this truism with inspiring, exciting gusto. Cliched moments occasionally surface, but never to insult our intelligence. Handled with delicate precision and affixed with firm pacing, O'Connor's sports-drama succeeds because of adroit attention to detail. Nurturing a moral message, mobilized by bleak and brutal circumstance, O'Connor's Warrior intimates one essential universal insight: Morality is besieged, on an intemperate basis, by an opposing struggle between innocence and corruption.
9 out of 10