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'Warrior' MMA Movie Starring Tom Hardy Receives Early Critical Acclaim

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Warrior promotional poster featuring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton by Lionsgate 2011 via <a href="http://www.imdb.com/media/rm433371136/tt1291584">IMDB</a>
Warrior promotional poster featuring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton by Lionsgate 2011 via IMDB

Not a great deal has been written about Warrior by the MMA press thus far. It's possible due to past efforts of bringing MMA to the Silver Screen in the form of Never Back Down, Red Belt and to a degree Fighting the MMA community has largely soured on the idea Hollywood could ever do the sport justice at this point in its young history. Perhaps more importantly though than authenticity is whether an 'MMA movie' can just be a good piece of cinema in its own right; a flawed representation of MMA in Hollywood - or any sport for that matter -  can sometimes be forgiven if the film hits the right notes when it comes to the directing, writing and acting. Rocky was more than just a film about Boxing, after all.

With this in mind 'Warrior' may become a surprise success as the world of fighting in Mixed Martial Arts is cleverly used as a back drop and plot device to serve a more accessible drama about family, honor and fighting for something more than fame and notoriety.

Not due for general release until September, an early cut of the Gavin O'Connor directed film starring rising star Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises), Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte and Jennifer Morrison screened at CinemaCon at the end of March and top Hollywood movie blog FirstShowing.net has one of the first reviews:

I'm more than happy to be the first website to tell you that this film is absolutely incredible. We're only just finishing March, but Warrior is my favorite film that I've seen in 2011 so far ... If you haven't already, stop and add Warrior to your list of must see films in 2011.

High praise indeed. Also starring in minor, supporting roles are Nate Marquardt, Anthony Johnson and Yves Edwards, Josh Rosenthal and Dan "Punkass" Caldwell as themselves ... and Olympic Gold Medalist / Pro-Wrestling train-wreck Kurt Angle.

Unlikely to be perfect, Warrior at least looks like an 'MMA Movie' worth watching.