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When you have a two-character narrative, and you pit them against each other, who will win? The more interesting character, or the one with the better story arc?

The one with the bigger fan base.

The more interesting character I'm talking about here is Tom Hardy, who plays Tommy, the ex-Marine who "ripped off the doors of a tank". Literally.

Anyone who punches that fast can surely
rip off the doors of a tank.

And if you thought that Tom Hardy can't do an American accent, think again. Remember, this guy was in Band of Brothers.

The other character I'm talking about is physics teacher Brendan Conlon, played by Joel Edgerton. If his face looks familiar, that's because he played the young Owen Lars in the Star Wars prequels, as well as Gawain in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur. His story has more drama compared to Tommy, because aside from teaching physics, Brendan is also a family man, with two daughters, a beautiful wife,

Played by Jennifer Morrison,
that girl from How I Met Your Mother.

and a mortgage on the house that won't go away unless he pays it. He doesn't have money, of course, so what does he do? He signs up for the MMA World Cup─the Sparta tournament.

Headed by J.J. Riley, or the Dana White of the Sparta tourney,
who is played by this film's director, Gavin O'Conner.

And then, around halfway through the film, it is revealed that Tommy and Brendan are actually... brothers. Well actually, it's already been revealed in the beginning, but it might not be clear to some people. Wait, if they're brothers, from whose testicles did they both come from?

From Nick Nolte, of course.

So the Sparta tournament is held in Atlantic City. Yes, as in Boardwalk Empire-Atlantic City. Both brothers reach the final four, facing each other in the end.

So rabid he's frothing at the mouth.

Now how exactly do you end something like this? Who wins in the end? Of course, it's... drumroll... the one with the better story arc.

In case you forgot, he's the one on the right.

What's even better than the ending is how they got there exactly. This is actually another one of those films that made me cry. You'd cry too if you ever had a fistfight with your sibling at one point in your life. You'd understand the entire drama of the moment.

This film has been hyped as "the Rocky of mixed martial arts". And surprisingly, it lives up to the hype. This film is actually perfect─as a stand-alone film. Like Rocky. But heaven forbid that they turn this into a franchise like Rocky. We all know how that turned out.

Yes, we do.

I do watch MMA, but I'm not as big a fan as The Negation, who should've written this review. Oh, and by the way, if you've ever wondered how they make that clapping sound on the 10-second mark, it's like this:

Notice the deep concentration on that guy.

Warrior. USA. 2011.

Rating: Eight and a half out of ten.

*some info from IMDb


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