Photo Credit: Chuck Zlotnick

              For Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) and Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), the intricate web of life is riddled with sour memories of pillaged youth. Not only did their estranged father and former boxer, Paddy (Nick Nolte), sever familial ties due to alcoholism, but he perpetuated the wrought-iron will in both of his sons. Directed by Gavin O’Connor, “WARRIOR,” is the story of two brothers fighting the pains of life until finally facing the truth behind their pain – their relationship with each other.

            Tommy, the younger brother and former Marine, returns home and pays an unexpected visit to his father. After joining a gym and pummeling the number one middleweight contender in the world during a warm-up, he garners the attention of the gym owner who asks to manage him. Tommy turns him down and instead, asks his father to train him for Sparta, the largest mixed martial arts tournament in the world. Tommy makes it clear that this doesn’t mend their broken relationship.

 Brendan, a high school physics teacher, struggles to make ends meet in order to care for his family and save his house from foreclosure. Rumors of an underground fight he won spread around his school and get him suspended. He decides to return to mixed martial arts full time, enlisting a friend to coach him. After hearing about Sparta, he convinces his coach to get him a spot in order to have his chance at the winner-takes-all grand prize of five million dollars.

   On the day of the tournament, both Tommy and Brendan “tap out” one competitor after another, left to face each other in the final round. With thousands of screaming fans blaring in the background, we witness a fight that captivates our senses and inspires the warrior within.

            Inspiring and raw, this film takes you where no one dares go – beneath the surface of an incredibly strained and painful sibling relationship. Where the fear hardens and sadness grows to anger, that is where sibling rivalry is at its worst. In “WARRIOR,” Tommy and Brendan’s problems take on a physical form. They can literally beat up sadness. They can knock-out pain. They can choke-hold fear. We can go so far as to say that they are not fighting each other. They are fighting all of the circumstances and problems that make them who they are.

Like Tommy and Brendan, while our real battles may be with ourselves,we may have to get into a few fights before we know the truth.

“WARRIOR” will be in theatres everywhere on September 9, 2011.

For more information on the “WARRIOR” film, go to:

Rosalie J. Kakos  is a Community Affairs Intern at WWJ-TV and CW50.