NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday August 23rd 2017

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Warrior & Point Blank

Warrior

Warrior (2011)

Lionsgate

PG-13 rated

Running time: 139 minutes

Director: Gavin O’ Connor

Drama/Sports

****1/2

Cast: Joel Edgerton (Bredan Conlon),Tom Hardy (Tommy Conlon), Nick Nolte (Paddy Conlon), Jennifer Morrison (Tess Conlon), Kevin Dunn (Principal Zito), Denzil Whitaker (Stephon).

Three men–two brothers and their father–battle amongst themselves over past wrongs, misgivings and dysphoria over present and future encounters, individually and collectively. Paddy Conlon (played by Nick Nolte in what’s worthy of a best supporting actor nomination), the father of two sons: the older, Brendan Colon (Joel Edgerton), married to Tess (Jennifer Morrison), with twoa children; and the younger, Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy), both were mixed martial artists. Brendan is a high school physics teacher in debt up to his ears and about to lose the house. Without telling his wife, he’s secretly training at a shady, underground club called Tender Club for cash under the table. He’s suspended by the superintendent of schools when it’s discovered he’s training there. His wife isn’t a happy camper about him returning to the cage and also being temporarily suspended from teaching due to his return to the mixed martial arts world. His brother Tommy returns to his dad’s house loaded with resentment. Tommy’s a hero for bravery in Afghanistan and what’s strange–he goes AWOL. Tommy throws a blow figuratively at Paddy by saying:”I think I liked you better when you were a drunk.” Reluctantly Tommy agrees to let his dad begin training again for mixed martial arts.

Tommy is at odds with Brendan too. Both decide to re-enter the cage, working their way to the super bowl of mixed martial arts: Sparta in Las Vegas which offers a grand prize of $5 million for the winner. In real life contests go roughly up to $100,000.

Most of the first half of “Warrior” is devoted to the wounded personalities among the men; the second half has the bulk of the fighting scenes. Mind you, the ultimate fighting scenes spark awe though much of the gladiatorial whirlwinds are over the top. The film is better than one may think at first. The drama alone makes it worth seeing. The fighting scenes give it the exclamation point.

Point Break

LGM Productions/Magnolia Pictures

Running time: 84 minutes

Director: Fred Cavaye

Country: France/French in English subtitles

Crime/Suspense/Mystery

****1/2

Cast: Gilles Lellouche (Samuel Pierret), Elena Anaya (Nadie Pierret), Gerald Lanvin (Commandant Patrick Werner), Claire Perot (Capitaine Anais Susini), Mireille Pemier (Commandant Fabre), Roschddy Zerrn (Hugo Sartet)

Short, suspenseful, vigorous but intelligent action: a man runs, slams into a metal screen, seconds later two men run after him. When the man is hit by a car, the two pursuers flee. Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lellouche), a nursing assistant in training to be a nurse, has the badly injured man, Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zerm), as one of his patients. During Samuel’s shift, someone tries to kill Sartet, but Samuel thwarts the attempt. The man escapes without Samuel getting a good look at the shadowy figure.

Samuel goes home to his pregnant wife Nadie Pierret (Elena Anaya) bragging on what he did at the hospital. But seconds later he’s jumped, beaten and his wife is kidnapped. Samuel in response–with gun in hand–forces Sartet out of the hospital. At this point, law enforcement thinks Samuel maybe the bad guy. He wants his wife and the unborn child unharmed. Commandants Fabre (Mireille Perrier) and Patrick Werner (Gerald Lanvin) are competing with each other on who is the more efficient crime solver. Samuel and Sartet develop a peculiar relationship: both somehow have to prove their innocence or perish. A bad cop is the villain among his co-workers. The chase scenes are anything but mindless. One item just may save Samuel and Sartet from further problems. Ultimately, there’s a point to the blank.

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