Warrior: Invective & Insight


Good grief. Salon.com critic Andrew O’Hehir, who wound up in a blogging skirmish with Roger Ebert after blasting Secretariat as a “honey-dipped fantasy vision of the American past as the Tea Party would like to imagine it,” is at it again.

Now O’Hehir divines that Warrior is Secretariat’s anti-government, tax-cutting, Constitution-spouting ideological twin: “pseudo-individualist, sub-Freudian, Tea Party-friendly fantasy.”

All rightee then. Crowd-pleasing sports movie that O’Hehir finds insulting to his refined palate, thy name is Tea Party.

Meanwhile, Arts & Faith member Bowen has some pointed questions, not exactly about Warrior, but about Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll’s enthusiastic defense of mixed martial arts (MMA). (Driscoll’s comments are referenced in an article about MMA linked in my review of Warrior.) Among other things, Driscoll opined that “men made for combat, men are made for conflict, men are made for dominion … That's just the way men are made.“ Bowen asks:

  1. If men are made for domination, what about the loser in an MMA match? He didn’t dominate — is he a failed man?
  2. If men are made for combat, why are almost all the men at an MMA event spectators? Surely the pure model for Driscoll isn’t MMA: it’s Fight Club, where everyone fights.
Lines I Wish I Had Written



Warrior (2011)

Warrior opens with a rash of Christian iconography and references: a Pittsburgh church adorned with Eastern-style three-bar crosses from which we see Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) emerge; a rosary dangling from his rearview mirror as he drives home to discover his estranged son Tommy (Tom Hardy) waiting on the stoop of his house; a Bible that Tommy contemplates on Paddy’s table.