Runtime: 88 Mins
What To Expect: A boring movie with crap editing betraying good performances
A Fighting Man treads the line that Rocky Balboa did in 2006 – a retired fighter with something to prove gets back in the ring against the advice and wishes of others. When looking at this kind of premise expectations should be levelled at the movie possibly being ‘watchable’. Especially when it has a somewhat respectable cast. Dominic Purcell, who I kinda dig from his turn in Prison Break and Assault On Wall Street, Kim Coates and James Caan are all here. So you have a nice grown up boxing drama and a few good actors. Pity we ended up with a shit movie.
An aging fighter steps into the ring once more to vanquish demons and earn a few thousand bucks. The aged fighter, Sailor O’Connor, is played by Dominic Purcell. The young fighter, King, is played by Izaak Smith. Incase you’re wondering, ‘Scantily Clad Girl #1′, is played by Daina Barbeua (could be important information by someone). But seriously, in a movie as dull as this, the talent really does help out if you’re more or less obliged to watch it ’till the end. And someone has to do that, right? Believe me not many others will endeavour to do that with this one. There are several problems with the movie but the worst is the script.
The problem that renders this movie DOA is the bold attempt to relay the final fight to us throughout the movie, in flash fowards. So the big showdown is shown via snippets every 6-7 minutes, round by round, as the dramatic backstory is told. Narratively speaking, this is really fucking disorientating and unintuitive. I always say that DTV movies should not think beyond their means. Well executed simplicity is what you should aim for, otherwise a small shot of being good turns into a big shot of being a shitfest. The movie runs out of steam within 20 minutes. I should also mention the Smith is completely and utterly forgettable, so forgettable that I had to remind myself to mention him in a review – you can’t review a boxing drama without mentioning the opponent character. But I almost did here.
Not helping are the fighting scenes. The camera is shook, the director going for a ringside experience type of deal. Sometimes when you’re at a fight, things like hands and other irritations can obstruct your view. Well this is a movie, and we don’t need the fucking view obstructed here. At times the fighting is filmed so badly that I’ve seen YouTubed iPhone clips that were shot better. Aside from that, the only good thing about this movie is the performances put in by Purcell, Coates and in particular James Caan. Caan has always been a manly movie favourite, he has an undeniable alpha gravitas and never condescends or phones in the roles he takes on. That’s no different here, as Caan plays the rough-ready manager.
Like I said. Nice premise, but poor execution. This is one to avoid.