Brothers (2015)

brothers

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In 2011, the mixed martial arts film Warrior may not have done well at the box office, but fans loved the story of two brothers in the world of MMA. India loved the idea and adding a twist, have released a very worthy remake of the film thanks to the performances of its trio of lead actors.

Garson Fernandes has been released from prison after serving time for the accidental death of his wife Mary. He learns that sports chairman Peter Briganza wants to bring street fighting to a legalized arena due to issues on the streets. Briganza creates R2F, the Right 2 Fight tournament. Garson is picked up by younger son Monty, who is angry when he is asked about his brother David. David, in the meantime, has become a physics teacher who is trying to make ends meet by fighting as a MMA fighter in small clubs to pay for his ailing daughter’s medical bills.

When the principal learns about David’s side job, David is forced to resign from his position. Meanwhile, Monty decides to become a fighter himself and with the help of an agent and the tutelage of his father, Monty begins to train hard and when he first loses then defeats a rival in the cage, the rematch has been uploaded on viral video, making him a star. David learns about R2F and decides to fight to help his daughter while Monty decides to compete in R2F after the viral video makes him a favorite amongst MMA fanatics. With the competition fierce in the first R2F tournament, who will persevere and become the first champion of the tournament?

Upon hearing that the film Warrior, in which Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton were excellent as the brothers are forced to confront each other in the world of mixed martial arts, was getting a Bollywood remake, it was met with both worry and unsurprising. After all, Bollywood, perhaps the biggest film industry just after Hollywood, has been known to churn out remakes of Hollywood or even Asian films. While the core theme of the film is in fact, based on Gavin O’Connor’s underrated MMA film, there are some important pivotal twists that bring a sense of more emotion in the film that helps drive the film.

Veteran Jackie Shroff, fresh off coming from his comeback role of Aamir Khan’s ill-fated father in Dhoom 3, ups his game in the role originated by Nick Nolte, a recovering alcoholic whose only concern is to bring his estranged sons back together. Sidharth Malhotra is great to watch in the role originated by Tom Hardy, a young man who is determined to become a fighter with nothing to lose while Bollywood legend Akshay Kumar once again shows why he is just that in the role originated by Joel Edgerton, a teacher who moonlights in the world of street fighting to make ends meet. However, to add more dramatic effect, Ekta Pathak Malhotra’s script actually depicts two really pivotal scenes that are vital to this remake’s plot that throw off a bit from O’Connor’s original film.

While the film clocks in at a whopping 158 minutes, a full twenty minutes longer than its originator, the first 90 minutes have a few Bollywood numbers including a cameo from Bollywood diva Kareena Kapoor Khan and has the scene that deviates from the Hollywood film, but the last hour mainly focuses on the R2F tournament. L.A. stunt coordinators Eric Brown and Justin Yu served as the film’s action directors and they did a great job with the fight scenes here. Look out for the likes of Bloodsport sequel lead Daniel Bernhardt, former World Wrestling Entertainment star Shad Gaspard (of the tag team Cryme Tyme), Chinese-Australian capoerista and stuntman Chan Griffin, Dutch martial arts ace Ron Smoorenburg, and the Aussie beast Conan Stevens as major fighters in the tournament. If you have seen the original Warrior, you know where we are going here, but the buildup is well worth watching with the other fights of the tournament here.

Regardless if you have seen Warrior or not, Brothers is definitely a worthy remake of the film with a very vital twist to the story. Akshay Kumar, Sidharth Malhotra, and Jackie Shroff bring their A-game with their dramatic performances and both Kumar and Malhotra deliver in the action department with powerful emotion.

WFG RATING: A-

Fox Star Pictures and Lionsgate Films present a Dharma Productions Pvt. Ltd. production in association with Endemol India.  Director: Karan Malhotra. Producers: Hiroo Johar and Karan Johar. Writers: Siddharth, Garima, and Ekta Pathak Malhotra; based on the film “Warrior”, written by Gavin O’Connor and Cliff Dorfman. Cinematography: Hemant Chaturvedi. Editing: Akiv Ali.

Cast: Akshay Kumar, Jackie Shroff, Sidharth Malhotra, Jacqueline Fernandez, Shefali Shah, Kiran Kumar, Ashutosh Rana, Conan Stevens, Ron Smoorenburg, Shad Gaspard, Daniel Bernhardt, Chan Griffin.

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