Thursday, May 21, 2009
Title: "Fighting" (2009)
Genre: Action/ Drama
Rating: PG-13 (for intense fight sequences, a sex scene, and brief strong language)
Length of Time: 105 mins
What is it about?: Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) is a southern boy who has found himself on the cruel streets of New York City, hustling counterfeit merchandise to survive. After being noticed in a fight, soft-talking Harvey Boarden (Terrance Howard) becomes Shawn's manager and coach and introduces him to the underworld of bare-knuckled street-fighting with high-stakes gambling and prize money. Shawn also meets and woos Zulay Valez (Zulay Henao), a single mother working as a club waitress. As their relationship blossoms, so does Shawn's street-fighting credibility.
My Review: 3/5 Stars. Ok... you caught me. I almost gave it 4 stars... not because the movie was better than 3, but because I'm a Channing Tatum fan. I have a tendency to overrate movies with hansomely rugged male eye-candy... like Vin Diesel in "Pitch Black". "Chronicles of Riddick" was worthy of all the praise... "Pitch Black", maybe not as much.
As I was saying--Channing Tatum was impressive in the fight sequences. Don't you just love an actor who digs in to perfect his craft no matter the pain or cost? Well, during one fight, Channing's nose was actually broken and he got up and continued to fight. They reset his nose with spoons and all, but the pain and blood did not stop him from giving the viewers all he had. Outstanding.
Terrance Howard is always a favorite onscreen... no different here.
I don't know what "sex" the MPAA is referring to with its rating. I remember a kissing scene... is that considered sex now? Implying sex must be enough to make it a sex scene. Either way, don't be fooled by the rating. You will see excellent chemistry between Zulay and Channing (he's engaged to Jenna Dewan, his co-star in "Step Up"), but you won't see much more than a lip lock.
The movie plays up some major tension between Channing's character and Brian White's character, Evan Hailey. That just didn't work for me. I really was wondering--what's the big deal? Same with the anger Shawn felt towards Zulay and Harvey... or even why they felt it necessary to keep the stupid secret to begin with. Shawn also had an issue with his dad that was just too sensitive for him to talk about. What? It all was just a bit overblown. Sure, tension is necessary for every movie, but I felt it was contrived and lackluster here. Perhaps its overindulgence was just a setup for the twist in the end.... but even that was predictable.
My Recommendation: Watch it... but don't expect too much. You should enjoy the performances of Terrance Howard, up-and-coming model-turned-actor, Channing Tatum, and Zulay's older relative (Alba Guzman) played by Altagracia Guzman. If you enjoy fight scenes, these should be entertaining for you, especially the last one. If you don't like to watch fight scenes the name of the movie should be warning enough for you to skip it.
Posted by Davida at 3:31 PM