Posted: November 21, 2013 by jperritt in Action, Drama
Tags: , , ,

Warrior-2011-Movie-Poster-0When I first saw the preview for Warrior I thought, this looks like a cheap imitation of David O. Russell’s, The Fighter. Not only did this bother me, but the preview seemed to leave very little of the story untold.

While I am still bothered by those revealing previews (not to mention the posters that reveal too much of the story), I did enjoy Warrior. The ending was a bit of a disappointment – too abrupt and lacked the creativity the rest of the film seemed to possess – nonetheless, there was much to appreciate.

One aspect that surprised me was Nick Nolte’s character, Paddy Conlon. I’ve never been much of a Nolte fan and was surprised to hear Oscar-buzz associated with this performance, but I must say that he did an excellent job. Many of his scenes were among the most powerful.

When you meet Paddy you discover that his alcoholism has isolated himself from his sons. The movie picks up, however, with a victory over this lifestyle when Paddy exclaims that he is almost a thousand days sober. Paddy seems to show repentance for his past and has a love for God that has fed that repentance.

One particularly heartbreaking scene is when Paddy shows up at his eldest son’s house, Brendan (Joel Edgerton). Brendan is bothered by the apparent restraining order issued to Paddy. While we aren’t told, we can gather that Paddy’s alcoholism rose to a threatening level for Brendan and his young family. As Brendan’s less-than-warm welcome to his estranged father remains in the front lawn, Brendan’s wife and two children come to the door. Paddy has never met Brendan’s youngest daughter. He is overcome with emotion and pleads for forgiveness, as well as, an opportunity to meet his grandchild for the first time. His requests, however, are met with coldness and the closing of the front door.

This scene is exceedingly sad, because of the truthfulness of it. We see the realities of addictions played out in Paddy’s life. As I have stated before (and I borrow this from Dr. Ed Welch) an addiction is ultimately a worship disorder. Every human being has been commanded to worship God, but our sin redirects our worship to everything else, alcohol in this case. The bottle had become Paddy’s god and any false god requires sacrifice. Paddy’s sacrifice? His family.

Because false gods aren’t the True God, the can’t defend themselves; therefore, they require the addict to defend them. Paddy stood up and fought for his alcohol and ended up paying a great price for that. And, this is how false gods always work, they promise you what only God can give you and end up leaving you empty. This was one aspect of the film I truly appreciated. Although these scenes were devastating, they accurately illustrated the powerful destruction our idols bring about in our lives.

The sadness of Paddy’s life was only magnified by the fact that forgiveness was never granted. Yes, there is a touching moment between Paddy and his younger son, Tommy (Tom Hardy), but the audience is left to wonder how the story ends. The refreshing truth is, those who believe in Jesus Christ do know how the story ends. Warrior not only helped to illustrate the consequences of our idolatry, but the damage of unforgiveness and the freedom offered through a forgiving heart. Forgiveness that is offered through the true Warrior of our salvation.

  1. CMrok93 says:

    A little long, but the cast and final match between the two make it well-worth the wait and watch. Good review.

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