The shifting character focus makes the story’s conclusion, when it arrives, more muted than it might otherwise have been, although its qualities as a crowd pleaser are rarely in doubt. In the end, Warrior is two stories: one a tale of forgiveness, repentance and sorrow; the other of grudges, old wounds and self-determination. The two stories tie together for a triumphant finale, and remind us that some prizes can’t be assessed in strictly monetary terms.

Like the MMA referee says, we all have to go to war, but Warrior shows that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; several uses of foul language, including a few “f”-words; crude reference to a strip bar
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: Tommy asks Paddy to “have a belt” with him, but Paddy rejects the offer, saying he’s been sober for nearly 1,000 days; Tommy drinks; Tommy hands over several bottles of pills to his father; a character gets drunk and is out of control
  • Sex/Nudity: A character says, “Every now and then I need some action”; MMA matches take place outside a strip club; crude reference to ring-card girls
  • Violence/Crime: Brutal mixed martial arts fight footage; Brendan’s wife says she doesn’t want their kids’ father to “get beat up for a living”; war footage and a reference to friendly fire
  • Marriage: Tommy refers to Paddy’s split from his mother, and wonders whether Paddy can still find a woman who “can take a punch”; Paddy tells Tommy there’s “no more women for me”; Tommy resents having had to care for his mother, who got so sick she was coughing up blood; Brendan tells his wife he doesn’t want to lose their house, which could soon go to foreclosure
  • Religion: A rosary hangs from a rearview car mirror; a Bible sits next to a telephone; Tommy reacts with hostility toward Paddy’s newfound religion, telling him, “I guess Jesus was down at the mill forgiving all the drunks”; Tommy tells Paddy that Tommy’s mother was “waiting for your pal Jesus to save her”; Paddy apologizes to Tommy and seeks forgiveness from his sons; Brendan tells his father, “I forgive you but I don’t trust you,” to which Paddy responds, “You’ve got to trust to forgive”; Tommy and Brendan challenge each other over their ability to forgive their father versus forgiving one another

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.