Tom Hardy stars as Tommy Conlon, a former wrestling prodigy who returns home to Pittsburgh after a stint in the Marines and grudgingly enlists his estranged father (Nick Nolte) to train him for a tournament dubbed “the super bowl of mixed martial arts.” Meanwhile, Tommy’s brother Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a high school teacher desperate to support his family in a lean economy, also sets his sights on the tournament’s winner-take-all purse.
The fight scenes were great but what kept me enthralled was the story of this damaged family and the fantastic performances – especially from Nick Nolte. I knew going in that Tom Hardy was British but had no idea that Joel Edgerton wasn’t American until I heard his Australian accent when he was interviewed after the film.
One thing I took away from the film is that Brendan’s trainer made him work out to classical music. I tried it yesterday with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and No.7 and had one of my best sessions – so I recommend it .