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The Big Man is not a true genre movie. It isn't a boxing movie, not a crime movie and not a family drama, but elements from all those genres meet somewhere in this film.
The setting is great. The director managed to choose a location that is barren, almost colourless and is obviously a skeleton of what it once was; a mining town. The coal mine has been shut down long ago and that is the beginning of the story. But I'm not going to give too much away of the hows and what's, for the film itself is good enough to tell it's own story without any problems.
The acting is good. I can't tell if the people could pass as those that they portray, but they make it believable for those who have never been in Scotland. It's very easy to admire Neeson; main reason is that there are many villages with someone like him, only here it goes a little to the extreme.
Even if there are fighters, gangsters and blood, this is still a drama. So it's rather slow. Don't watch this for the boxing or the gangsterism alone. All those elements make it a very rich movie, sometimes even towards the exotic. Downside to this is that it's not always easy to adapt 'all' facets of life. The movie focuses only once on a happening, and that is the fight it's all about. The rest is a little out of focus, but in the end it comes together to one important lesson.
As some people in other comments already noticed; music is by Ennio Morricone. It's strange at first to hear an Italian soundtrack (with this I mean music in the style for Italian thrillers) when viewing Scotland, but is sure works. The music during the fight is a great build-up piece that goes from suspenseful to epic.
I don't know what score to give this. I wanted to give it a 7, maybe because I didn't enjoy everything in it, but I'll give and 8 after all; I find this movie too sympathetic to give a 7 and there are many elements that I enjoy.
Saw it on a Dutch 6 euro DVD with excellent quality and lots of subtitles. Maybe best purchase this month.
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