Well, I fell for it. I saw the box for this at the video store, and mistook it for "Girlfight", which I'd heard was great. In my own defense, the titles are similar, and they re-did the cover art for the box so it looked almost identical. Anyway, to sum it up, they obviously re-did the whole cover packaging/promo to capitalize on the buzz/success of "Girlfight". I popped it in and got a bad feeling when they started showing trailers for low budget straight-to-video flicks, and even worse when a music video of the main song for the movie, which sounded like elevator music and featured corny slomo clips from the movie preceded the main feature. When I saw the first few minutes and Maria Conchita Alonso showed up, I knew I'd fallen for it. (don't get me wrong, she's a talented actress, but I knew she wasn't in "Girlfight", the movie I'd been under the false impression I was renting).
So, apart from me feeling sort of cheated and mad at myself for not looking closer, the movie was OK. The plot involves Belle, a young Latino woman who is the daughter of an ex-champion boxer. One of her close friends is a female boxer, who--and I could see all this coming sooo far ahead of time it was really a drag--gets seriously injured during a match with a mean champ named "The Terminator", who resembles a female version of a bigger, more pumped up Ike Turner. Of course, Belle decides that the only thing to do is to become a boxer herself and avenge her friend. She lives with her caring, supportive yet protective Dad (her mother died of cancer when she was younger), who just happens to be a cop. Her love interest, also caring and supportive yet protective, is also a cop who works with her dad. Hmmm, they both have jobs that put their lives in danger in the line of duty...wonder what's gonna happen? She starts training and meets a sleazy manager who of course, pretends to care about her but just wants to exploit her. The actor they hired looks like a very low-rent Cary Eweles and is so young he barely manages to have a mustache. His acting was also really, really bad. I'm not even going to go into the plot any further because anyone who has seen Rocky, or almost anyone, knows exactly where this movie is going and how it will end.
This was not a completely terrible movie. Most of the acting was OK, and the lead actress was very good. There were good, strong female Latino role models. The final fight scene did get me sort of interested, even though I knew everything that was going to happen long before it did. The actress that played "The Terminator" did a great job of being unlikeable enough that I really did want Belle to kick her a$$, and rooted for Belle-again, although there were absolutely no surprises. My favorite moment (maybe the only moment where I wasn't mad at myself for renting the movie by mistake) was when Belle slaps her sleazy manager after he's shown his true colors, yells at him, and then turns away only to suddenly fake a punch and watch him cringe back in fear, showing that she is really the one in charge.
The dialogue was really, really bad, my main complaint. One of their attempts to be witty was someone discussing boxing saying "size doesn't matter" and the female replying wryly, "now where have I heard that before?" Other lines that are supposed to have dramatic impact are "The doctors told me I may never walk again!" "Come on, you know you can trust me!" and "Your mother would have been so proud of you". I could go on and on. Nothing you haven't heard a million times before in bad soap operas or movies-of-the-week.
Maybe I'm being too mean-the filmmakers did make an effort, and I did sit through the whole thing voluntarily...but only because there was nothing else to watch while I worked out. You could do worse (especially if you are looking for a movie with strong female characters) but you could also do much, much better.
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