Brawler is as hard as they come; a gritty, dirty fighting movie with some strong performances and well done fights which don’t look overly choreographed. Worth a rental.
Plot: After a devastating betrayal, two brothers return to the underground fight club scene in New Orleans and prepare to battle to the death.
Review: Brawler is a pretty hardcore, low budget fighting movie and it literally doesn’t pull any punches; as much as I love martial arts movies, I also love movies where there are no flashy moves, just two guys beating the crap out of each other. It’s sort of like a modern version of Hard Times, but obviously not as good.
After watching it you feel like you need a bath, it’s that kind of dirty, gritty movie. It’s not exactly fun, feelgood stuff and there’s no humour either.
The fights however are really nicely done, where it looks like the fights are genuinely hitting each other and it certainly doesn’t glamorise it. Every punch hurts and it all feels really authentic.
The acting is overall pretty good and there is a genuine resemblance between the two brothers, despite them not being siblings in real life, which really makes it believable. The younger brother Bobby is one of the biggest pricks you’ll ever see on screen; he’s so utterly unlikable that you can’t wait to watch him get his ass kicked.
Nathan Grubbs (older brother Charlie Fontaine) is very sympathetic and he really gets a raw deal in the story; his dirty wife cheats on him with his younger brother and then she’s wondering why he’s mad? You’re better off without her, mate. She also isn’t the world’s greatest actress either, which doesn’t help.
You do find yourself really emotionally invested in it and although it has a slightly similar story to the movie Warrior, this movie doesn’t have the same happy ending. It does feel more believable though and there are times when you are throwing things at the screen because Bobby is such an ass.
The music was mostly really loud and tuneless and I found that it drowned out some of the dialogue in places, which I hate.
Overall, Brawler is as hard as they come; a gritty, dirty fighting movie with some strong performances and well done fights which don’t look overly choreographed. Worth a rental.