Shortfilm Review - WARRIORS (2016)

Warriors is an Argentinian short film that uses martial arts as the back drop of a deeper message. Directed by and co-starring Fabricio Martin, the story takes place in a private martial arts competition with our protagonist and another opponent. What seems to look like a martial arts drama goes into something more, with a message that resonates with anyone and not just martial artists.

From what we are shown at the beginning, Pablo is an underground fighter that is participating in some illegal looking competition to pay for his grandmother's house so she doesn't get evicted. His coach, however, is in it for the money and wants Pablo to hide a knuckle duster in is left glove to finish the fight when the time is right. At the critical time when Pablo has his opponent pinned to deliver that punch, it switches to a more metaphysical fight. Pablo is then taken to the recesses of his mind with his guardian spirit of sorts that tells him about the fight of good and evil between all of us. The movie then shifts to a more fantasy style kung fu fight, full of fancy effects and heavy stances. Here we see the two sides of Pablo fight for what will dictate his actions for the rest of his life.

At first, I wasn't too impressed with the action design of the fight IN the underground fight; but after watching a little while, the fight is only used to deliver the message...and that ultimately is what got me to keep watching. I’m usually a very critical person when I watch martial arts movies, and I have things to say about how the choreography was, but I saw the reason why they casted this protagonist. They saved the best action pieces for the fantasy kung fu fighting that goes on in his head. The performers were very capable, and the special effects were also very unique, so I felt the pacing of the fight was very broken to fully appreciate it.

Even so, the narration of the battle of good and evil within ones’ soul made that metaphysical fight much larger and grandiose than it was. I think it was a good way to deliver that message in an action oriented short film. Overall, I think the production of this short film is great, and the execution was superb, but I don’t really feel that this film would break any genres or tropes. The story, even though very motivational, is a message heavily repeated in many other mediums. But, for the 20 minutes that this movie is, I did walk away from it with a smile.

In short, with Warriors, don’t expect great fighting or terrific acting, but what you have is a very decent short film about the human soul, and I do recommend watching it.

Warriors also stars Pablo Kun Castro, Walter "Shao" Gomez and lead actor Alejandro López Hiriart with seasoned actor Juan Carlos Puppo for its online release starting July 10!


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