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Ali was TOO LONG. I found myself looking at the time, wondering when it would be over. I was waiting for the plot to get me somewhat excited to focused. Unfortunately I never sat up during the whole movie. Will Smith had a decent acting appearance and shouldn't be too proud about the movie, since it was a once and a lifetime opportunity to depict the greatest boxer of all time, and it didn't clome close to the potential. Maybe this is a lesson that these "true story" flicks have run there course, and can only be successful if you truly have a good script and cast. Rating: 3
Starring: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Voight.
"Ali" focuses on...well...Muhammed Ali. Will Smith portrays the boxer and boy does he do good. I am saying that he deserved a nomination, but with the other contendors I don't think he should've won. "Ali" is one of those films that you remember how well an actor did. I never expected Smith to do such a good job as Ali. I will say one thing, though, Voight did NOT deserve a nomination. Of anyone, Mario van Peebles or Jamie Foxx should've gotten a nod.
When i saw this movie, i felt so excited becaus i knew ali was one of the greatest! The film was not so so well, but i think only a few scenes make the film worthseeing, because, that what you think, the effect is worth it. If you got time take it and watch a legends`story! God bless you!
The pacing and editing of this movie is horrible. From the beginning, where
it takes forever to see the first fight of the film, why wasn't all this cut
out. The first half hour is so boring that it loses your attention, and it
only goes downhill from there. From this movie, it makes Ali seem like such
a hipocrit for being this really religious guy, but yet he's always
cheating on his wives and swearing. I'm sure this movie left a lot out about
Ali's life, but I don't think it left him looking like a champ. Will Smith
had a good acting performance, but that is the only good thing to say about
FINAL VERDICT: Boring; too long. This should have been some 10 episode series on HBO in order to really show Ali's life. Not worth watching; I'm sure an Ali biography show would be better.
Will Smith steals every scene here as the title character, and you really
should be watching this film for two reasons: Will Smith's interpretation of
the legend, and Michael Mann's solid-as-always direction.
The film's only drawbacks are its meandering pace at times, and how it often shows Ali's marriages like they were one-night stands. Certainly understandable considering it covers his entire life, but a drawback nonetheless.
Jon Voight is also very, very good in this film as well and him and Smith have great chemistry; exactly what was needed for the film.
If you want to see a film that tells you everything about who Mohammed Ali is, you'll disappointed. If you want to see a slower-paced film worth the effort and a great ending, this is just the ticket.
This is great movie making at it's best. Michael Mann has a style and
attitude that we see no where else. Amazing stuff. If you were bored by
this movie, then you have no appreciation of what great direction is. And
you have a short attention span, which is indicative of
I hate boxing, but I loved this movie. This movie isn't about Will Smith (who I also hate,) it's about the director. This is a beautifully made film despite the casting choices and historical inaccuracies.
The way Will Smith never loses that bewildered expression on his face. He's supposed to be playing a brash, arrogant, opinionated heavyweight black man but he might as well be playing an idiot savante. Even in the Zaire scenes, they keep doing close-ups on Will's "What the fudge is going on?" face. Even the delivery of the lines sounds bewildered, the way Will sort of trails off at the end of a proclamation. Listen carefully, and you'll see what I mean.
The way time shifts rapidly from one era to another, with historical events occuring at a rapid pace with Forrest, sorry, Ali having something to do with them, but not fully realizing it. "They shot that nice man," you half expect him to utter after Malcom gets gunned down on that podium.
When Ali beds Sonji, you just expect him to say "I'm not a smart man, but I sure know what love is."
The film feels incomplete. They could have cut short that lenghty first fight scene and focused on these aspects of Forrest's life.
His childhood in Louisville.
His amateur career, culminating in his winning of a gold medal.
His later years, following the Foreman fight.
His epic struggle with Frazier in Manila.
Hey Mann, this calls for a sequel.
This film just has so many things wrong with it starting from the very
opening sequence. In that sequence we see Cassius Clay preparing for his
upcoming title fight with Sonny Liston in Miami. While seeing him prepare,
we see Liston destroying an opponent in the ring. We also see the hints of
racial tension going on in southern USA, 1964. The entire sequence lasts
approximately 8-10 minutes. It is long, drawn-out, and boring. It's the
perfect opening sequence for this film.
That's because that's exactly how this movie feels : long, drawn-out, and boring.
How could someone make a film about Muhammad Ali's life & manage to make the film boring ?!?!? Here's some ways : have long (and unnecessarily drawn-out) scenes (ie : the dance scene where he meets his first wife), or simply have recreations of now-famous media scenes (the Cosell scenes ; the pre-fight scenes). I understand the need for these scenes, but I would rather watch the actual scenes than a recreations of them.
By concentrating on such aspects of Ali's life, Michael Mann totally bypasses what I feel could have been more interesting aspects of Ali's life. For instance, I would have liked to see more of the conversation between the newly-named Ali & his father, as they argue on the significance of the "Clay" name. That scene had the potential to be very revealing. I also would have liked to have seen more of Ali's first visit to Africa, when he went on his Muslim pilgrimage. Instead, the whole event is used as a way to say goodbye to Malcolm X in the film. To me, that whole part of the film could have been very significant. What did Ali see when he went on the pilgrimage ? How did it affect his life ? Did he recall any of Africa when he went back there to fight Foreman ? We'll never know from this film.
I would like to have seen more scenes such as him and Joe Frazier in the car together. That was one of my favorite scenes in the movie. It gave me a chance to see more of something that is impossible for me to ever see : an actual private conversation between Ali & Frazier.
But there are tons of other things that are left out of the film as well. For instance, after Ali loses to Frazier in the first fight, we don't really even get a chance to see how his first loss as a professional affects his life. This is Muhammad Ali ! How did it feel to him to lose for the first time in his life ? Eventhough Ali played it off in the media as if it didn't affect him, did it in reality ? We'll never know from this film.
The pacing of the film was just terrible. As I said, the opening sequence was long, drawn-out, and boring - and was the perfect opening sequence for this film. That's because it is a microcosm of the entire film.
You want bad pacing ? Try this : It actually took the entire first 55 minutes of this film for Cassius Clay to actually defeat Sonny Liston ! The opening sequence was all about him prepping for the fight, and it continued on to the weigh in of the fight, and the prefight comments etc. Then the fight itself was actually quite boring.
More bad pacing : The film goes into the mid-sixties in a daze. It doesn't really start to show anything until finally Ali has his now-famous interview with Cosell. In this scene Cosell tells him behind the scene how the government is worried of black militant groups. That is when I felt the film MIGHT start to become more interesting. I looked at my watch to see that nearly 2 HOURS had passed in the film !
Even MORE bad pacing : Ali gets his fight with Frazier. Ali loses the fight. But we as the audience never really get to see the true level of brutality of that fight. Between that and the "Thrilla In Manila" (which was completely dropped from the film) we never really get a chance to see the true damage that those two fighters endured and delivered in their fights against one another. Instead, we see glimpses of the fight, Ali's knockdown, and a few other aspects. But really it just goes straight to the next scene after that, which has Ali & his crew watching Foreman defeat Frazier. (Like I said, no concern is given on how Ali's first loss affected his psyche). After that, it is straight to Ali-Foreman. Full "Rumble In The Jungle" : Don King, Africa, Zaire etc etc.
This was actually probably the best part of the film. The film takes on a more "personal" look at Ali when he is prepping for the fight in Zaire. We get to see him connecting with the people. Again, I would have liked to see if he recalled anything from his previous visit to Africa - but that was not to be.
Even worst, the Foreman fight managed to look boring ! Still, while the fight itself looked boring, I will admit that Michael Mann did a brilliant job with showing the now-famous Foreman knockout punches by Ali. The angles he uses are different with each punch, and it is a very good perspective.
Other aspects of this film bothered me. For instance, was Ali REALLY on the phone with someone who was with MLK a second before he was assassinated ? That seems far-fetched to me.
The only thing keeping this film from being a complete waste of film is Will Smith's performance here. Smith does indeed do everything that one can hope from someone who is portraying Ali. However, when you get right down to it, I think there are simply some people who it is more exciting to watch in a documentary or biography, rather than a Hollywood film production.
So with that in mind, watch "When We Were Kings" for anything you would want to know about "The Rumble in the Jungle" or HBO's documentary on Ali-Frazier I. If you want a more interesting perspective on Ali's life in general, then watch ESPN's documentary on him - they didn't name him the Athlete of the Century for nothing.
Muhammad Ali has made his name as one of the foremost American athletes in history, and a true hero. The movie of his life, "Ali," profiles a fraction of this man's illustrious life. The story looks at the years between 1964 and 1974, between Ali's career-making title bout against Sonny Liston, and the much-hyped "Rumble In the Jungle" bout against George Foreman, with many points of interest in between. Michael Mann did a fine job of showing Muhammad Ali's rise to the forefront of the public eye. And Will Smith earns his acting chops in the title role. He plays the role well, showing the swagger of a man who proclaimed himself "The Greatest," then went out to prove it. John Voight's performance as Howard Cosell is also notable. The subdued impression avoids becoming a caricature, which is too easy when dealing with Howard Cosell. No movie may be enough to cover the life of the legendary boxing champion. "Ali" does not try to, it merely shows the prime of Ali's life.
Since this movie was just fictitious on so many things I do know about, I
did not believe anything it said about things I didn't know about. Mann
taken rather severe liberties with plain, empirical, historical facts--for
instance, the simple and egregious matter of putting Howard Cossell into
commentator role in the Liston fight (Steve Ellis, in fact, was the
broadcaster), or inserting into the Liston fight an incident (Ali's being
unable to see temporarily)from a much, much later fight--one of the
fights, I think.
And Will Smith is much less charismatic and entertaining than Ali. This is a joyless film, in which Ali's natural wit, and his world-class mastery of the role of raconteur, hardly appear.
Skip it. You will only like it if you know no real history about the subject, and then you'll come away thinking you know things that just aren't true.
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