FIGHTING is an unexpected form of bad
Never make assumptions. Judging from the supremely unenticing title and a trailer that suggested a generic punch em up with all the depth and insight of a Dolph Lundgren movie, I went in certain of having a very bad time. Instead, I get a piece steeped
Never make assumptions. Judging from the supremely unenticing title and a trailer that suggested a generic punch 'em up with all the depth and insight of a Dolph Lundgren movie, I went in certain of having a very bad time.
Instead, I get a piece steeped in the attitudes and style of 70s cinema, a character piece that tries to fuse Midnight Cowboy and Rocky.
It is still a bad film, but it was an entirely different bad film to the one I was expecting.
Shawn (Tatum) is a strapping lad trying to make his way on the streets of New York who runs into down on his luck hustler Harvey (Howard).
On the most skimpy of evidence Harvey decides that he has what it takes to make it in the world of illegal, no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle brawling and starts to fix up fights for him.
There are no Twin Towers and everybody has mobiles, but this feels like a pre-Guiliani Big Apple. The soundtrack is certainly working under the assumption that it is accompanying a blaxploitation movie.
- 1 Cops swoop on cannabis farm rumoured to be 'largest ever' busted in Haringey
- 2 Landlord scales back 40% rent rise - but it is too late for some tenants
- 3 'We don't need to drink more coffee' say cafés as Joe & The Juice moves in
- 4 The most expensive homes sold in Camden in November 2021
- 5 The man who wants to put trains among the trees from Muswell Hill to Highgate
- 6 Highgate pub gets the go-ahead to reopen
- 7 Murphy's Yard 825-home tower block development to be 'car free'
- 8 Jimmy C's wife on how she is keeping 'his memory alive'
- 9 Ricky Gervais behind new benches for people grieving to 'talk and reflect'
- 10 Ex-manager admits defrauding Paddington Sports Club
Throughout there's something just a little off about this movie - Shawn never really convinces as a pugilist and flukes his first victory. His second bout takes place in the backyard behind a convenience store against an opponent who looks like a gigantic version of Mini-me.
All the time I was half expecting some kind of twist, that it was all a dream. This disconcerting feeling extends to the characters. Howard is a charismatic performer but in his eagerness to make something of his role he tries too hard; erratic sentence stress is no substitute for a good character.
Tatum though is the workhorse, the one who has to carry the movie, the one who's aiming to become a star. He looks somehow to be a fusion of every young movie actor who ever got to be dubbed the New James Dean.
His role is that time-honoured testing ground for the rising star - the inarticulate good-hearted brute in a white T-shirt. But he blows it, coming across as a smart kid earnestly acting dumb.
Director Dito Montiel Starring Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Zulay Henao, Brian White. 104 mins