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The Set-Up
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Set-Up More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The "Set-up" takes a dive

Author: Turfseer from United States
22 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I was younger (I'm 56 now), I actually enjoyed watching a boxing match. But now when I think about what happens to many boxers after they retire, it's hard for me to admire the sport. Some young people (particularly some urban youth) believe that it can be a get rich ticket--a path out of the ghetto. What these young people don't understand is that boxing takes its toll physically and when you get older, your body will bear the effects of the earlier abuse. Case in point: Muhammed Ali and countless others who are unable to enjoy their old age.

In a sense, The Set-Up is a cautionary tale: it shows you exactly what the effect of boxing has on the body. It does not romanticize boxing and for that it should be commended. Nonetheless, as drama the Set-up is a dud. The main reason to watch it is the fantastic choreographed boxing scene (if you like boxing!) and the cinematography (the 'cameos' of the spectators are priceless). Otherwise, the main characters have little meat.

Robert Ryan (Stoker) plays a boxer who believes he has one fight left in him. He valiantly decides not to throw a fight and pays the price when gangsters beat him up after the fight is over and make sure he'll never fight again. Audrey Totter is his long-suffering girlfriend who has a wasted part, simply walking around the street, tearing up a ticket to her guy's last fight and basically not part of the main action of the film.

While all the peripheral characters (including the gangster, "Little Boy"), are very colorful, none of them are developed into characters with any depth. The denouement is decidedly quite disappointing. Stoker gets his hand broken by the gangsters, realizes he'll never fight again, his girlfriend is happy and presumably they'll walk into the sunset, arm in arm, facing a new, optimistic tomorrow.

Unfortunately, this is not the type of film you'll probably want to view a second time. Watch it once, but that's it!!!

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