Mixed Martial Arts movie proves a genuine heavyweight contender in HD

Clichés are not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a good reason why some ideas are reused over and over again. Ultimately, it’s all about how you can make a cliché work for you.

With its tale of two troubled brothers from a dysfunctional family both entering into mixed martial arts tournament in the hope of finding redemption, Warrior isn’t what you’d call the most original film you’ll ever see. Running the gamut of sports movie clichés, it heads towards a finale you can see coming a mile away.

But none of that matters a jot. Thanks to the strength of the three main performances (Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte), the brutal realism of the fight scenes and the emotional truths the script touches on, Warrior overcomes the odds like an underdog fighter and emerges a genuine sports movie champion.

Picture: Warrior comes out fighting on Blu-ray with a sympathetic AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode that makes the most of the film’s many visual strengths, whilst also showing up a few inherent problems in the image.

The most obvious concern with the film’s visuals is an excess of noise in a couple of night sequences. However, this relatively minor problem is beaten into submission by the astonishing colour reproduction and intricate detailing exhibited in the rest of the film. Even better, the film-like grain evident throughout speaks against any miss-use of noise reduction tools and there’s not a trace of unwanted artefacting or sharpening to be found.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: Lionsgate serves up a trio of audio options on this Blu-ray, and even goes as far as offering explanatory text for each on the disc’s Audio Set-Up menu. Leaving aside the Dolby Digital 2.0 mix (for obvious reasons), we’ll stick to commenting on the DTS-HD MA 5.1 and DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtracks. Differences between the two aren’t hugely noticeable, but surround effects do feel slightly more fluid in their movement around the speakers in the 7.1 incarnation.

But whichever you opt for, both of these multichannel mixes are true heavyweight contenders, each capable of delivering an astonishing knockout blow thanks to their audio potency and dynamism. Delivering panning effects that float like a butterfly around your speaker setup and forceful bass that stings like a bee [that’s more than enough fight puns, thank you very much – Ed]. 
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: The Blu-ray-exclusive Full Contact enhanced viewing mode kicks off the disc’s solid set of bonus features. Reversing the usual PiP layout, this has behind-the-scenes footage and interviews play out full screen while the film itself is relegated to a smaller window. Also on offer are a chat track, 32-min Making of... doc, a deleted scene, gag reel, Anatomy of the Fight scene deconstruction and interviews with MMA experts. A bonus DVD of the film is also included.
Extras rating: 3/5

Lionsgate, Region B BD/R2 DVD, £25 Approx, On sale February 20