While watching Tom Hardy snap and snarl and pace about in the cage like a man possessed, you will be overcome by a realization: that man is a badger. It's alarming, actually, how thoroughly he seems to embody the animal, right down to the shape of his eyes and nose. I hadn't noticed it before, but I can't unsee it now. If they were to make a live-action adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, I would hope that they'd cast Hardy in his dashing Inception mode as Mr. Badger. There would be no finer choice. While that may not sound like a resounding endorsement of Warrior, in a way, it is. The film follows the incongruously congruent paths of two estranged brothers as they train for an MMA tournament to win a large cash prize each of them desperately needs for very different reasons. Hardy is the more brutish of the two. He's mysterious, snappish and anti-social where his brother (Joel Edgerton) is a struggling physics teacher and family man. While the climactic moments of Warrior may be predictable at the outset, the lack of familial glue holding the Conlon brothers and their ex-alcoholic father (Nick Nolte) together adds a rogue element into what would be an otherwise textbook 'boxing'-type film. Strong performances and excellent, lively fight choreography make Warrior an unquestionable success with a weirdly emotional wallop as your allegiances are built for each of the brothers, both of whom are wild card underdogs in their own right.