Popcorn On Couch presents Cinema Clash where I invite someone to debate two movies which are similar or connected in some sort of way and we battle it out, pitching why we thought our choice of movie was better. In this edition of Cinema Clash we have The Fighter Vs Warrior; they are similar as both movies are Sport dramas focusing on two brothers. I have invited Mark Devlin from Sport Camera Action who will be pitching for The Fighter in this epic sports showdown.
Let the battle begin!
Battle One: Intro
There’s been a few sports films released after 2000 that have been pretty memorable, though none of them have stuck with me quite like The Fighter did. Director David O. Russell – who has gone on to direct a lot of critically acclaimed films – crafted this film in such an elegant and intriguing way that I never get tired of watching it. Sports films today unfortunately seem to be lacking that certain quality of excellence, the excellence that makes The Fighter so damn good.
I will admit that The Fighter is a good sports movie, but Warrior is definitely a great Sport drama with the perfect balance of drama and action. Unlike other sport films, Warrior actually manages to wrap you up in its dramatic world then enthrals you with its quality fighting scenes, making it a special type of Sport drama. Gavin O’Connor directed this inspiring story and managed to capture the gripping action and the emotionally complex story beautifully.
Battle Two: Drama
The Fighter is all about family, and how those within that family deal with their daily struggles. It sounds straight forward, but it surrounds two incredibly loyal brothers who have a special bond with each other. Dickie is a local legend, and he’s now solely determined to make his brother the greatest. He’s so caught up in helping his brother reach the top that he’s ignored his own issues, though when he realises the state his life is in, he tries to change. It’s about family, and it’s made all the more impactful as it focuses on an unbreakable bond between brothers who are both tackling issues in their own life. The relationship is tested numerous times throughout which makes for a hard-hitting drama.
Warrior is about two estranged brothers Brendan and Tommy who end up fighting in the same MMA tournament for the grand prize. Warrior provides a detailed look at both brothers’ lives, Brendan a family man in financial ruin and Tommy an ex-Marine with a tragic past being trained by his alcoholic father. The movie shows how their family issues motivate and affect each determined brother for the biggest mixed martial arts event. When the two brothers meet they must finally confront each other and the things which pulled them apart. Warrior showcased the back story of both brothers well so you could really understand the characters before they face off in an intense, emotional, soul-stirring and remarkable showdown.
Battle Three: Lead Actors
Mark Wahlberg, a high-profile actor, does a superb job in the lead role. He was acknowledged for his portrayal and is still a household name in the film industry. Christian Bale won his first Academy Award thanks to his portrayal of Dickie and has went on to be nominated for another two. He’s been in the business for a while and still shows his incredible talent today. Their chemistry on screen was undoubtedly incredible and added so much weight to the story. Not only did they both work well together, but they showed a perfect balance of emotion and enthusiasm in their roles.
Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton both deliver stunning performances. Edgerton puts on a powerful, believable and sincere performance as Brendan the underdog causing you to care for and emotionally connect with his character. Hardy does what he does best by excellently portraying the mysterious, tough and badass character, Tommy. Edgerton and Hardy both put their amazing acting abilities on display allowing them to go on to do other interesting projects. Since Warrior, Hardy has received an academy award nomination for his supporting role in The Revenant and Edgerton has received critical acclaim for his direction and performance in The Gift.
Battle Four: Action
While there isn’t a whole lot of action in the film, it still does have a decent amount. The boxing sequences are made much more realistic as they’re shown as if through a televised image. It doesn’t sound like it would make a difference, but it does. The fight scenes remain very grounded throughout which keeps the story realistic and believable. The fact that it’s a true story helps this of course, but I think it’s good to appreciate the believable approach that doesn’t seem too heavy handed. That fresh take on the action allows us to be immersed in the story much more, as well as being kept intrigued by the thrilling fight choreography.
The best thing about Warrior is that its complex story is backed up with awesome action. Warrior devotes the second hour of its movie to gripping, realistic and exciting fight scenes. I found myself completely thrilled by the battles and surprised by how similar they were to actual MMA fights. Each intense battle will have you on the edge of your seat as you cheer for both brothers. Every punch, kick and dodge performed by both brothers had an emotional backstory making each move more meaningful. The brothers contrasting fighting style made each fight different; Brendan the underdog was agile and strategic whereas Tommy was the dominant force with a brutal and hasty fighting style.
Filled with terrific performances by first class actors and a grounded story, The Fighter remains one of my favourite sporting films to date. The strong message surrounding family and loyalty is portrayed in a more impactful way than Warrior. It’s not a typical popcorn blockbuster, but a film that has you thinking even after you’ve watched it. David O. Russell handled this project very well and made a brilliant sporting story that had my full attention throughout. Fuelled by drama and emotion, it remains a firm and enjoyable sporting movie until the end.
Warrior had all the necessary ingredients to make a great sport movie. Although Warrior has a few clichés typical of the sports genre, it develops the clichés and takes them to another level with its superb fight scenes, excellent acting and compelling characters. Warrior may not have a strong message about family like The Fighter, but it definitely had an inspiring story proving you can achieve your goal if you work hard and believe in yourself. For these reasons Warrior is certainly a memorable film which has raised the bar for following sport dramas.
Now you guys have the opportunity to vote, which movie was better? Use the poll below and leave your opinions in the comment section.
— Popcorn On Couch (@popcornoncouch) 27 June 2016
I’ll like to thank Mark Devlin for collaborating with me on this epic Cinema Clash, be sure to visit SportCameraAction and check out the awesome movie reviews and Football predictions.
If you are interested in collaborating with me for future Cinema Clash, contact me via the contact page.