Fighting Review: Wham Bam, No Thanks Man…

May 15, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Film Reviews


fighting1-300x210FIGHTING: On General Release from Friday 15th May 2009

If I ate enough paper, I could poop out a better script than Dito Montiel and Robert Munic’s Fighting.

In fact I’m pretty sure the story was 40% grunting, 60% tosh. The whole film just felt incredibly amateurish, from the dated title sequence (complete with the cast and crews names being brutally subjected to the worst font ever) to the cardboard cut-out characters – I swear I’ve seen puddles with a more intricately woven back story.

The plot was identical to that of 21 – but without the clever writing or the presence of Kevin Spacey it just became a waiting game for the credits. If the twist fails to inspire then it’s fair to say the movie has failed. If I wasn’t reviewing it, I would have walked out about fifteen minutes in. I am never going to get those two hours back, and on my deathbed I’m going to be lying there thinking “If only I hadn’t watched Fighting, things could have been so different.” For those who are still adamant that they want to see this movie – maybe a plot summary will make you reconsider, after all you could spend that seven quid on beer – which is at least guaranteed to evoke a reaction.

Shawn MacArthur is the de riguer broke boy in the Big Apple until “two-bit Hustler” Harvey Boarden spots his talent for knocking brothers out and sets up some big money matches. Throw in a sexy single mom, a crazy Puerto Rican grandma (I’m not kidding) and a long-standing grudge with an old wrestling buddy and I am completely baboozled as to why a studio ever invested in this heap of horse doo doo.

The most upsetting experience is being forced to watch Terrence Howard lower himself to the role of whiny Harvey Boarden (Why Terrence? You were awesome in Crash, why can’t you do more movies like that?!). At first I thought Howard was trying to convey that Harvey was one sandwich short of a picnic, it was like the world’s worst impression of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, but apparently that’s just what Harvey is like: a pathetic failure who is constantly surrounded by a gang of illiterate, drop-out youths. It’s just plain weird and completely unbelievable.

Fighting‘s one saving grace is Channing Tatum’s hot bod (hence the half a star, even I’m not that mean). Don’t get me wrong, he will always be a poor woman’s Josh Hartnett but semi-nakedness is a temporary distraction from the film’s complete lack of content, form or substance.

Only to be endured if you are feeling particularly masochistic.

Sally McIlhone

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