Warrior: Gonna Fly Now

by Ethan Alter September 9, 2011 6:00 am
<i>Warrior</i>: Gonna Fly Now

It's no accident that the best sports movies are also underdog stories. While rooting for dominant winners -- whether it's the Yanks, the Pats or Pacquiao -- is an accepted and even encouraged practice in the real wide, wide world of sports, there's just more drama in cheering on the Rudy's, Rocky's and Bad News Bears' of the big screen. Warrior, the new mixed martial arts film from Gavin O'Connor (who knows a thing or two about rousing underdog tales, having previously directed 2004's Miracle, based on the epic American/Soviet hockey match at the 1980 Olympics) doubles our pleasure of rooting for the little guy by giving us not just one, but two underdogs, both of whom are facing off against each other in the final round of a high-profile MMA tournament hoping to bring home a million-dollar payday. In one corner, you've got Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a former UFC fighter-turned-high school physics teacher that has climbed back into the ring in order to make the necessary extra cash (he's got a sick daughter, see) his public school gig isn't bringing in. And in the other corner, there's Tommy (Tom Hardy), a Marine recently back from the front who intends to turn his winnings over to the widow and children of his dead army buddy. But wait, here's the best part: these guys also happen to be brothers. How can you resist a set-up like that?

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