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File:Warrior-poster-3-10-11-kc 2274.jpg

2011 film starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy as a pair of estranged brothers who enter a Mixed Martial Arts tournament, each for their own reasons. Also stars Nick Nolte as their father, a retired, recovering alcoholic boxer.

The film opens when the younger brother Tommy (Hardy) returns to Pittsburgh after leaving with his mother years ago to escape his father's out-of-control alcoholism. He begins working out at a local gym and asks his father (celebrating 1000 days on the wagon) to train him for the Sparta tournament, a 16-contestant, single-elimination MMA tournament with a winner-take-all $5 million purse. Tommy's got a few demons in his past though, and it turns out he's not just in it for the money.

When Tommy left, his elder brother Brendan stayed in Pittsburgh for the sake of his future wife. He is a former UFC fighter, but has retired and now teaches high school physics. He's having trouble making ends meet however, and his house is on the brink of foreclosure, so he starts fighting again to supplement his income. Turns out the school board doesn't approve of him moonlighting as a cage fighter, so he ends up suspended without pay from his teaching position. He knows it's a longshot, but if he can win the Sparta tournament, he'd be able to keep his house. This, of course, puts him on a collision course with Tommy, who still resents him for staying in Pittsburgh while Tommy took care of their ailing mother.

The movie was well received at the box office, with excellent characterization and solid performances turned in by the lead actors, as well as very realistic fight scenes.

Unrelated to the comic book.


Tropes used in Warrior (film) include:
  • Anti-Villain: Both Brendan and Tommy are treated sympathetically throughout the film, but Tommy fulfills the role of the villain. He's a complete jerk to both his brother and father throughout the film, refusing to help them reconcile their old family demons. He also fights like a classic screen villain, curb-stomping his foes with anger and brutality.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Brendan, when he realizes Tommy won't concede the fight even with a dislocated shoulder, apologizes as he puts him in the match-ending chokehold.
  • As Himself: A few MMA personalities who appear in the film play themselves:
    • Stephan Bonnar and Rashad Evans both appear as themselves on ESPN
    • The Tapout founders Skyscrape and Punkass make several appearances
    • Referee Josh Rosenthal oversees the final bout, making several terrible calls. Non-MMA fans might be confused as to whom Frank Campana is talking to when he repeatedly chastises "Josh." It should be noted that in the credits, the character "Referee Josh Rosenthal" is credited as "Josh Rosenthal" instead of "Himself" like all the other real life personalities, presumably because the character is a comically inept referee, while Rosenthal himself is considered to be one of the best refs in the business.
  • Badass Bookworm: Brendan's physics students see him this way when they find out about his MMA moonlighting. This one's based on the real-life history of UFC middleweight Rich Franklin, a math teacher before his fighting days.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Brendan gets the 5 million dollars he needs and wins the competition but Tommy gets very little closure and is about to face some serious charges. Their father's off the wagon (Tommy's fault), although it might just be a lapse, and seems to realize that keeping his distance is the best thing to do, rehabilitation or no, so he gets to keep being lonely. Tommy does seem to have forgiven Brendan and accepts him as a brother.
  • Blood Knight: Tommy has some combination of this, Death Seeker and Survivors Guilt motivating his fights. At one point the comentators point out that if he were to fight someone outside the ring with the same level of excessive brutality (he had to be pulled off his opponents several times) he would face assault charges.
  • Blood Sport: Although the sport itself is treated pretty realistically, the idea that MMA is a brutal bloodsport where competitors could die at any moment is played up for dramatic effect, particularly with Brendan's wife.
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer: Frank Campana is known for his unusual training methods involving classical music, but damn if he gets results.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The UFC exists in this world. Several UFC fighters appear as themselves, while other UFC (and former UFC) fighters appear as fictional characters.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Tommy overwhelms all of his early opponents with superior speed and power, quickly defeating them in brutal fashion. His fighting style highlights his role as the Anti-Villain of the film.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Why Tommy left Iraq.
  • Delinquent Hair: Mad Dog sports a colorful mohawk to let us know that he's a Jerkass. He even colors it camoflauge for his fight with Tommy as a Take That to all the servicemen in the audience.
  • Determinator: This is Brendan's primary fighting style, highlighting him as the hero of the film. He's a heavy underdog all the way through, but always manages to persevere and find a way to win via sustained grappling. In the end, Tommy also shows himself to be, but in a more tragic way. He keeps fighting even after his defeat is certain, refusing to just let go.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A classic example. Tommy can't set aside his resentment towards Brendan until Brendan reluctantly gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Brendan only does it because Tommy's fighting despite a dislocated arm and needs to be subdued quickly or else risk more intense injury fighting. While choking him out, Brendan asks for forgiveness in anguish and tells Tommy he loves him (keeping in mind Tommy had just gleefully tried to punch the life out of Brendan), at which point Tommy finally taps out and they embrace as brothers.
  • Did Not Do the Research: The film gets a whole lot more right about MMA than most other media, but there are exceptions. For example, Tommy would not be allowed to continue fighting with a broken arm regardless of his willingness to fight. In real MMA, this would result in a technical submission loss. Tim Silvia famously lost the UFC heavyweight belt when his arm was broken by Frank Mir, even though he requested to continue fighting.
  • Domestic Abuse: When his father mentions swearing off women, Tommy mumbles that it must be hard to find a woman who can take a good punch these days.
  • The Dutiful Son: What Tommy sees Brendan as.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Conlons have shades of this. However Brendan's family is amazingly functional.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Paddy is a lonely recovering alcoholic, Tommy has PTSD (and a lot of chips on his shoulders) and Brendan has inferiority and abandonment issues.
  • Fight Clubbing: Brendan intends to scrape together a living by fighting in "smokers," which are small-time, often unsanctioned fighting events.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Even though the movie is about two brothers, the true bromance is between Brendan and his trainer Frank.
  • Instant Web Hit: A video of Tommy beating Mad Dog at the gym gets uploaded on Youtube by the gym receptionist. It becomes so popular the soldiers overseas are checking it out.
  • Instant Fanclub: Tommy gets one on the second day of the tournament.
  • Jerkass: Tommy is pretty much of a dick to his father and brother the whole movie, albeit with a fair enough Freudian Excuse.
  • Kick the Dog: Mad Dog kicks several dogs so that we don't sympathize with him when Tommy humiliates and crushes him in the ring. He's a cocky asshole when he knocks out his first sparring partner. He also dyes his mohawk camoflauge to mock Tommy's past as a Marine.
  • Leitmotif: Brendan's trainer Frank Campana uses Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as his intro music, which is at odds with the rap and Russian music intros of the other fighters.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Tommy knocks out all his opponents early in the first round - until he fights Brendan. Koba also qualifies.
  • Memetic Badass: Tommy becomes one in-universe after his video hits the web. He does eventually prove to be worth his fame.
  • Morally-Bankrupt Banker: The banker shows absolutely no sympathy for Brendan's situation. At one point he rolls his eyes and mutters about how hard it is to keep all of his clients' sob stories straight.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Brendan's wife, played by Jennifer Morrison, is rarely seen with pants on.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The film often skirts amusingly close to actual MMA figures without quite hitting them on the nose.
    • Koba is obviously Fedor Emelianenko with the serial numbers filed off. They are both bald, stoic, tattoo-free, dominant Russian champs who never fought on American soil. Some reviewers mistook the reference for a take on Rocky IV's Ivan Drago.
    • Brendan's trainer Frank Campana resembles Greg Jackson, both presented as personable top-level trainers with an intellectual approach.
    • Bryan Callen as a ringside color commentator is an obvious Joe Rogan impersonation. Both are brash comedians with a casual commentating style.
    • The sponsor of the Sparta tournament is a bald businessman who is always hanging around the press and got rich before getting into the fight game. He's a combination of the billionaire Feritta brothers who bought the UFC and the bald UFC president Dana White, an infamous media hound.
  • Off the Wagon: Paddy Conlon after Tommy berates him one time too many.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the scene where Paddy visits Brendan for the first time, Joel Edgerton's Aussie accent slips out when he says "I've got a wife and kids; I don't have time for whatever this is." (It's adorable.)
  • Pet the Dog: After pushing his father back into the bottle, Tommy tucks him into bed upon discovering him drunk and despondent.
  • Product Placement: This film is brought to you by Tapout! The brand is plastered everywhere. The fictional tournament is sponsored by the company, its two surviving founders appear as themselves in several scenes, and the film is dedicated to the memory of late Tapout founder Charles "Mask" Lewis.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Tommy is red, Brendan is blue. Their gloves are color-coded for your convenience.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran:
    • Tommy is a veteran of the Iraq war.
    • Paddy as well. If his drunken ramblings are historically accurate, he was reliving his closest friends and coworkers heading toward certain doom courtesy of a dumbass leader.
  • Shown Their Work: While it's not perfect, the film gets quite a lot right about MMA.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Tommy is the performer, a bad-boy crowd favorite who wins his fights with speed and brute force. Brendan is the technician - he jabs and moves (often taking a hell of a beating) and will not go down until he finds an opening for a grapple, then uses his superior floor skills to get submission holds.
  • Training Montage: The training montage for both brothers, overlaid with commentary and Beethoven (Brendan's leitmotif).
  • The Unfavorite: Brendan, who was ignored by their father in favor of training Tommy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The film has no epilogue, so we never see the repercussions of Tommy's desertion nor find out what becomes of the family he promised to support.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: The film relies on a great deal of rather implausible premises and coincidences.
    • Two brothers with slim MMA credentials both independently decide to enter the fight game at the same time. They both qualify for and enter the exact same tournament, and both defeat some of the purportedly greatest fighters in the world to compete against each other in the finals.
    • The soldier that Tommy saved just happens to spot him on a youtube video.
    • Tommy and Brendan both happen to be walking alone on an otherwise abandoned beach and stumble into each other.
  • The Worf Effect: We see Mad Dog crush his sparring partner with a spinning back elbow, only to be crushed himself by Tommy the first time we see him fight.
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