Fighting (2009)


I had a lot of pre-expectations before seeing Fighting. I thought this was going to be a no plot, poorly acted, adrenalin filled, thoughtless action flick. It just so happens, I was right. There were some fleeting moments of excellence in this Rocky wanna-be flick but nothing cohesive enough to lift this one from the floor of the ring.

It’s the same story we’ve seen almost a million times; street punk has a special gift – he can fight. Will this special gift lift him from the gutter? Will he let it? Of course! In the first ten minutes of the movie you can predict the ending of this flick. Okay, enough beating it up (no pun).

Terrence Howard is a bright spot in this movie playing Harvey Boarden, a once slick manager of fighters now turned street hustler but guess what – Harvey has a gift too!  Yes, Harvey can spot a good thing a mile away… This street-wise, dim-witted portrayal by Howard is good and is easy to believe.  He makes you feel sorry for him but never trust him completely. You certainly want him to “win” more than the main character Shawn MacArthur played by Channing Tatum.  Tatum’s character has also done some negative transforming  and looks to Harvey Boarden to rescue his soul from the past.

I did very much enjoy Altagracia Guzman playing Tatum’s girlfriend’s grandmother. Her protective nature reminded me very much of roles played by Martin Scorsese’s mother. Certainly real, and just utter fun to watch.

As if there wasn’t enough sub-plots running through this picture, throw in a girlfriend that works in a club, no – she makes bets, no – she works in a club, as the romantic interest; some low-lifes that are never really developed, girlfriend’s kid, girlfriend’s mother, and then the true enemy – a nemesis from the past. Oh my God! How many screenplay rewrites does it take to make a simple story complicated!

Save your stash or spend the cash? Definitely save your cash on this one fight fans. Unless you can time it just right to get out to the concession stand and restrooms in between fight scenes – you’re better off waiting for the DVD.

See you in the middle back.

Jim Goose Guzior

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