Fighting gets the smackdown from us in this review.
YOU WILL LIKE THIS IF: you like teen dramas with very little actual fighting,
YOU WON’T LIKE THIS IF: you like good movies,
(The following review was originally published back on April 24th, 2009)
When I go to see a movie named Fighting I only expect to see one thing: people beating the living hell out of each other. That should seem fair to anyone, right? I also expect some decent fighting… DUH! What I don’t expect is teenage drama, touchy-feely bull from people that are way too old to act like they are 17.
Channing Tatum, besides having a name that sounds like it came from an 80s soft-porn actress, looks like a deflated John Cena, sounds like a less talented Mark Wahlberg, and is as convincing as a drunken clown magician at a kid’s birthday. There is no believable arc that takes this man from getting his ass handed to him to being able to run through each opponent as they come to him. Sure, I love to cheer on the underdog as much as any frustrated sports fan, but this sh*t is ridiculous.
Clichés are abound in this film, like piranhas around a bleeding child that has fallen into the Amazon. The plot is paper thin, and the acting is horrible, especially by award-winner Terrence Howard, who speaks in such an annoying way that I was hoping for his character to get killed off. No such luck. If you’ve seen any dance movie that has come out in the last few years or any “urban drama” that has a “rags to riches” style plot, you’ve seen it all before. In fact, so much so, that I’m not even going to bother with more plot details. Now I’m just going to concentrate on entertaining you more than the film possibly could. Ready?
The fight scenes in Fighting are weaker than a malnourished 80-year-old man with brittle bone disease. If I went to see a movie called Eating I’d hope that the food would look amazing. If I was going to see Crying, it better well be the saddest movie I’ve ever seen, causing me to question the world we live in and depress myself to death. No, screw this Fighting nonsense. I want to retitle this film Boring.
When you are supposed to be showcasing action sequences of one on one “anything-goes” fights, all fueled by an illegal gambling ring, I expect excitement. What is given, instead, is a series of unimpressive fights, shot too tightly to understand much of what is going on, and with only a handful of high-impact punches and kicks to highlight each match. Yawn. I want to feel like I’m watching a good ole fashion street fight, or schoolyard brawl, or hell, even a bar fight. Give me someone to scream for, punches to shout “Oh, damn, that hurt!” at, and for the sake of all that is good and just, don’t make it a bloodless PG-13 snore-fest. What is this, TV? No, you know what, even TV has more balls, so I retract that statement.
I will say that this film charged me up enough to make me want to just start a brawl with anyone on the New York streets as I worked my way home. Unfortunately, that was only because I was so angry at the anemic, punch-pulling, neutered, small-brain bullshit that I had just seen. If I had a choice between getting hit in the face with a punch by Tyson in his prime and watching this movie again my ass would be on the floor, knocked out cold, and possibly dead.
Grade: F (as in “F this movie!”)
Release Date: April 24, 2009
Studio: Rogue Pictures
Director: Dito Montiel
Screenwriter: Dito Montiel, Robert Munich
Starring: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Brian White, Luis Guzman, Zulay Henao
MPAA Rating: PG-13