Sunday, February 26, 2012


Two men are at crossroads in their respective lives. One, Brendan, is a schoolteacher and family man whose bills are starting to swell up so high they may well sink his ship. The other, Tommy, is a recently returned war veteran who’s gone AWOL with nowhere to turn. Simultaneously a very wealthy industrialist has decided to stage an ‘all comers’ ‘winner takes all’ MMA tournament in Vegas with a $5million purse. Both men have a history of fighting and decide, if they work hard enough at it, they just might make it deep enough into the competition to come away with enough prize money to help keep them afloat. They also happen to be estranged brothers.

Brendan’s father and brother left he and his mother some years ago. The mother has since died and neither came to the funeral, which led Brendan to cut his father and brother out of his life completely. Tommy has always regretted his older brother for throwing him out with the bathwater and uses his dad, a retired fight trainer, to train for the bout. The big event is not just an opportunity for the brothers to finally have it out, but also a chance for the family troubles to finally crescendo.

This movie is one cliché after another. Everything about it is formulaic and predictable. That said, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Imagine a musician you really like, a really talented musician covering a song you’ve heard a thousand times. It’s like a really great cover of Mary Had a Little Lamb. You know exactly what is going to happen and the plot has clearly been copied and pasted from a billion other movies, but it’s shot well, scored well and acted very, very well. In the end, it lacks real substance and isn’t going to be earth shaking, but if you like a good, inspiring sport flick, you will dig this. Watch the arch of these sport characters unfold and while you know where it’s all going to end, you’ll enjoy the ride.


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