When troubled Iraq war veteran Tommy (Tom Hardy) decides to enter a mixed martial arts fighting tournament he can think of no-one better than his former alcoholic Dad (Nick Nolte) who he hasn’t seen for over ten years to train him. So begins an uneasy alliance as the duo prepare for battle, but unbeknown to them another family member has also decided to enter.
Joel Edgerton is Brendan, Tommy’s brother. Brendan makes a living as a high school physics teacher but runs into financial difficulties that force him to return to the fight game.
The $5million prize money has attracted the world’s top fighters including the legendary Russian athlete Koba, played by real life pro-wrestler Kurt Angle.
Can either of the brother’s beat their formidable opponents and prevail? You’ll have to see it to find out but make sure you avoid the trailer at all costs as it reveals the finale.
This could easily have turned into one long training montage movie but thankfully it concentrates on the background of the three main characters so that when the tournament begins the fights carry a lot of emotional weight.
Hardy and Nolte are excellent as the estranged Father & Son but Joel Edgerton’s performance as the family man turned fighter steals the show. This is Rocky for the MMA generation and it’s the best sports film I have seen in a long time.
Ric’s rating: 84%