In a testament to globalization, Hollywood has remade the 2011 Gavin O’Connor film “Warrior” with Bollywood talent in the new Fox-Lionsgate production “Brothers: Blood Against Blood,” a bid to crack the thriving Indian market.
The story of estranged sibling rivals cage-fighting in a mixed martial arts tournament dovetails with Bollywood’s classic good brother-versus-bad brother trope.
Try as writer Ekta Pathak Malhotra might, however, elements such as an AWOL Iraq war veteran don’t lend themselves to Hindi translation. The characters’ Christian faith proves less a comment on the religion and more of an easy explanation for the cultural clashes that arise from the adaptation.
Over-the-top melodramatic and corny, “Warrior” wasn’t a great film. Remake director Karan Malhotra (husband of the screenwriter) delivers music-video slickness that does slightly improve upon on the ESPN aesthetics of the original, but “Brothers” feels significantly inflated because of the obligatory musical montages (though the film is just 15 minutes longer than “Warrior”).
“Brothers” stars Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra are more studly than Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, who originated the roles. Bollywood veteran Jackie Shroff, assuming Nick Nolte’s part as the recovering alcoholic father, delivers the kind of acting reel that would guarantee an Oscar nomination for some Hollywood actors. It’s a pleasure to marvel at his performance alone.
‘Brothers: Blood Against Blood’
No MPAA rating
Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Playing: Cinemark 18 & XD, Los Angeles; AMC Burbank Town Center 8; Laemmle’s Town Center 5, Encino; Edwards Cerritos Stadium 10