A small-town boy hustling his way through the big city forms an uneasy alliance with a scam artist who inducts him into the violent world of bare-knuc...
4 reviews from the community
Review of "Fighting (DVD)"
Shawn McArthur (Channing Tatum) is having a bit of a rough time of it - he lives on the streets and sells counterfeit goods on the rough streets of New York in order to scrape by. When Shawn is set upon by a gang of young thugs he courageously manages to fight them off, however they still get away with his money. Downhearted, Shawn packs up his things and heads off to find a place to sleep where he notices the man who was in control of the thugs - Harvey (Terrence Howard), who, after a few cross words makes the young Shawn an offer he can’t refuse… $5000 for a street fight. Money that will change Shawn’s life for the better…Fighting is another in a long line of movies aimed at the 15-30 male demographic that focuses around the dangerous world of bare knuckle fighting. There have been numerous movies based around the same subject that it’s hard to keep count and with some good (Fight Club) and some, not quite so good (Damaged), I’d say that Fighting falls nicely between the good and the bad that Hollywood has to offer. There’s no mistaking what Fighting is about, it’s right there in the title, however Fighting tries to steer in a somewhat different direction than all the other brain-dead street fighting films. Does it accomplish what it sets out to do? Well if what it sets out to do is entertain then I’d say it does. However if the movie knowingly tried to be anything other than what it is then unfortunately it failed miserably.
On paper the film would fall into the ‘action’ demographic, however the ‘drama’ genre is more where I’d place it, as the film is actually pretty scarce of what the title suggests. Throughout the course of the film we only witness around 4 or 5 fight scenes, which are nicely spread out, so not to feel to cluttered or slow the film up, but the film is painfully lacking in what it needed the most, in what brought in all those blood hungry young men to the film in the first place - fighting. The fight scenes are well choreographed, but they’re over before you notice a bloody nose or a cracked jaw and the predictability really starts to grate after the first two fights. Still, as I mentioned, the fights are well choreographed and are accompanied by a fitting, hip hop orientated soundtrack that really sets the mood. Aesthetically the fights tick all the boxes, they look and sound as realistic as possible without making people squirm and the aftermath of the fights are plain to see - at the time, however, an hour or so later (in the film) the bruises/cuts are nowhere to be seen.With the fighting being a little on the tame side, one would expect the plot to be packing that much needed punch, however things seem to be a little watered down in this area too. Ok, so we’ve got the underdog in the form of Tatum, the dubious mentor in Howard and of course the much needed love interest with Valez. However, things still seem to be lacking with a plot that screams predictable in every sense and is a letdown in every possible aspect. First up there’s Tatum, the pretty boy with the big heart who desperately wants to help out Zulay, desperate being the word here. Lets face it, Tatum isn’t short of admirers and the cute boy with the nice physique wouldn’t come across as the desperate dough eyed boy on first glance would he? Well the ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ act plays a huge part in Tatum’s character here, much like a lot of his movies and although he pulls it off to an extent, there’s still something noticeable lacking with his character development. The same goes for Howard, the Oscar nominated actor would be expected to pull out the more believable and raw performance of the two men, however, given what Howard was given to work with, he never stood a chance. I’ve seen numerous films of this sort before and most of them turn out to be formulaic nonsense. Fighting on the other hand, seemed to be steering slightly away from the stereotype with the character of Harvey. However, Fighting, doesn’t want to disappoint and although it didn’t go down the expected route with Terrence Howard, it definitely doesn’t do anything to set it apart from any of the other films of the genre. Howard really isn’t given anything to work with, which is a shame as he’s proven time and time again that he’s a superb actor. His character isn’t given any chance of development and with that we see, his character goes down the mundane route, making him neither likeable or relatable.
The simple plot has good and bad aspects, the simplistic nature is what generally fills these sorts of films so I wasn’t expecting an intricate plot with lots of twists and turns, however, I was at least expecting to be kept on my toes in terms of drama, plot and acting - unfortunately the film fails on all levels. Drama wise there really isn’t anything to latch onto in order to sustain your interest, there are a couple of fight scenes that hold the tiniest bit of tension, but on the whole you know exactly what’s going to happen right from the offset and the appearance of Zulay’s character is the final nail in the coffin in terms of predictability. Even trying to do something different to set itself apart from the rest (concerning Zulay’s story) the film still ends up a predictable mess with no substance to be seen for miles. The plot line is wafer thin, as most fight movies are, therefore as expected all three main characters have a back-story in an attempt to fill up some screen time. To be fair, the stories are actually quite interesting, yet they only scratch the surface and aren’t delved into half as deeply as I would have liked as this could have given the film a new lease of life.With all this in mind, you’re probably expecting the movie to be a real disappointment and, subject to analysis it is, however if you take this film on face value then I think you’ll find it relatively enjoyable. Ok, so it’s no Rocky, but the film is raw entertainment and definitely one for a lads night in.
Recommended.The DVD is available from Amazon for £3.99.
Product Information : Fighting (DVD)
Manufacturer's product descriptionA small-town boy hustling his way through the big city forms an uneasy alliance with a scam artist who inducts him into the violent world of bare-knuckle brawling in A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS writer/director Dito Montiel's unforgiving urban action film. Arriving in New York City with little more than the shirt on his back, Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) makes ends meet by selling counterfeit goods on the street. But times are tough and money is short, and just as things are starting to look grim, Shawn crosses paths with crafty con artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard). Harvey instantly recognizes Shawn's natural talent for street fighting, and offers to help the uneasy newcomer make some quick cash on the bare-knuckle circuit. But making a living by brawling isn't easy because the system is hopelessly corrupt, and the only people who really come out on top are the rich businessmen who place wagers on the disposable fighters. Still, Harvey's instincts were right, and Shawn quickly makes a name for himself by taking down every opponent who crosses his path, including mixed martial arts champs, veteran pugilists, and ultimate fighters. As each bout becomes more intense, Shawn realizes that his only hope for escaping this dark world is to face his fiercest opponent to date.
Listed on Ciao since: 31/03/2009