Newest Review: ... of boxing and martial arts - right up his street. The story goes through Tommy's journey to the tournament but cleverly sneaks in and o... more
Ooh I do love Mr Hardy!
Member Name: MsTricia
Advantages: great acting and cast, and of course Mr Tom Hardy!
Disadvantages: scenes are a bit dark and gloomy, hard to see
I saw this film at the Cinema when it was released, and with the new Batman film out where Tom Hardy is the villain Bane, it reminded me how much I loved his performance in this film and so I bought this DVD on ebay for £8.78 with free delivery (not bad!)
The plot consists of a tale of two brothers, torn apart by their alcoholic but now sober father and both with their own agendas when entering the mixed martial arts competition for the $5,000,000 cash prize. On one hand we have Brendan Conlon, the eldest brother (played by Joel Edgerton) who is a physics teacher struggling to pay his mortgage after his daughter has heart problems and him and his wife work 3 jobs to try and pay her medical bills having remortaged his house twice. He has 3 weeks to come up with money or they will have to sell the home and perhaps face bankruptcy.
On the other hand we have the troubled, (and SEXY!) younger brother Tommy Riordan (played by Tom Hardy) who used to be in the Army but leaves and abandons his duties once his close friend and brother is killed in friendly fire. He has pledged the money to help his friend's widow look after their children in Mexico. Tommy returns to Pittsburgh after he left when he was younger with his mother to escape their drunken father, but his mother has since passed and he has returned not to build bridges but simply for the now sober father Paddy (played by Nick Nolte) to be his trainer and help him win the MMA comp.
Both brothers are underdogs in the competition and from the outset Tommy is the firm favourite, with his hot headed, but non-arrogant attitude to fighting. He simply wants to win to keep his promise to his friend and do what's best. Of course, physics teacher Brendan is looked upon as a fluke as he manages to will his way through the competition to the final, where of course it is revealed that they are brothers going head to head for the prize. Brendan of course needs the money as he will be homeless with his wife and 2 kids, so his pupils are all vying for his victory. I won't say who wins as I don't want to spoil the film completely but I have to say I was disappointed at the winner!
The acting in this film is brilliant and I have to say in the final scene I was even bawling like a baby! The emotion between the 2 brothers is vivid and strong and both actors are amazing at conveying their feelings towards each other and expressing how siblings can be torn apart by a tumultuous childhood as neither understands the other's point of view.
The film is shot quite darkly, with a lot of scenes me squinting to get a long lusting look at Tom Hardy haha. My crush aside though, the scenes have a lot of authenticity in terms of the fighting skills and experience and the actors do an astounding job at portraying their characters fighting capabilities to perfection.
I watched the DVD extras in which there are scenes which were removed from the film, involving Tommy and Paddy in the diner, discussing why Tommy left the army. There are also light hearted gag reels which are amusing to see, and an extra showing how they choreographed the final fight scene between the two brothers and shows Joel and Tom practising their fight and how the screen shot compares to storybook outline of the final scene which is really interesting to see.
Overall I loved this film and would definitely recommend it! It is a bit cliche and I am sure the storyline is a regurgitated one of earlier fight films but nevertheless it will appeal to audiences with an interest in mixed martial arts and fighting and just for women like me who like to perve over a hottie! It is a 15 which I think is appropriate as there is some strong language, although absolutely nothing of a sexual nature (as much as I'd hoped I'd see Tom in some kind of action in that area!) but some of the fighting scenes are a bit violent so I definitely wouldn't recommend it for any young eyes!
Summary: great film showing mixed martial arts