Story of a promising high school basketball star and his relationships with two brothers, one a drug dealer and the other a former basketball star fallen on hard times and now employed as a security guard.
Lyon Gaultier is a deserter in the Foreign Legion arriving in the USA entirely hard up. He finds his brother between life and death and his sister-in-law without the money needed to heal ... See full summary »
Jean-Claude Van Damme,
George "Ice Man" Chambers (Rhames) is a top ranked heavyweight boxer. However Chambers has his world turned upside down when he is accused of rape and sent to prison. Upon his arrival he hears talk about Monroe Hutchen (Snipes) who is the top ranked prison boxing champ 10 years running. Immediately there is bad blood with Chambers not wanting to be second to no one which leads to a lunch room fight between the men. Figuring it will be a good way to make money fellow convict Emmanuel 'Mendy' Ripstein (Peter Falk) sets up a prison boxing match between the two men to decide who is the real UNDISPUTED champ. Michael Rooker plays a guard, Fisher Stevens, John Seda, and Master P co star. Written by
EL TORO 79
Wesley Snipes objected to Miramax's demand to do a scene that would make his character more sympathetic. See more »
[after getting to know the fight has been cancelled]
Jesus fuckin' Christ! This fuckin' state. Who the fuck does this fuckin' warden... fuckin' think he is? Doesn't anybody know how to do business in this fuckin' state? My fuckin' wife and her fuckin' asthma and allergies. We had to move to the fuckin' desert. Goddamn fuckin' chickenshit doctors... I should've known better than listen to those shitheels. Fuckin' Palm Springs... Lay there in the fuckin' sun and do nothin'. Then this fuckin' state...
See more »
The movie title is repeatedly shown in the opening scenes, but no producers, directors, writers, actors, etc are named. See more »
Two sets of genres are run together (clichés and all) in a film that has little substance but just enough energy and style to make for a distracting piece of entertainment
When heavyweight champion of the world James "Iceman" Chambers is found guilty of rape of a showgirl he is sent to a new prison in the Californian desert where they send all the more unsavoury prisoners to avoid contaminating those "only" convinced of lesser crimes. However there already is an internal boxing contest within the prison and it already has a champ of over 10 years Monroe Hutchens. Keen to establish who's is bigger, Iceman shows him up in front of the other inmates. To avoid a riot the warden puts Monroe in solitary while Iceman continues to tough it out in prison. As his expensive legal team prepare an appeal and defend all sorts of other actions, elderly mobster Mendy Ripstein starts pulling the strings to put on the only fight anyone wants to see Monroe v Iceman.
Starting with a solid 15 minutes of style and energy I wondering if the film would be able to keep the pace up but, despite turning it down a little bit, the film does essentially keep moving with energy and style right till the very end. And it is just as well because there isn't really any substance to talk of in this rather noisy affair. The main character is essentially the writer's take on Tyson but the film doesn't really do anything more interesting with it that just hang the suggested similarities out there Rhames may occasionally try to express something deeper than this but the material isn't there to help him. As it is though, Hill's direction and manner of keeping the screen busy and the camera moving helps inject life into what is really just a cross of clichés from sports movies and prison movies. It had enough to it to engage and entertain me without ever threatening to stick in my mind for much longer than the time it took to watch it.
The cast do a lot to help the impression of substance by providing lots of faces who put in effort. Rhames is a solid lead who does his Tyson impression well without ever lifting the material. Snipes matches him on this level by producing a simple performance but adding an impressive physical presence to the proceedings. The support cast are not all used that well but are essentially an impressive collection of well known faces who do add a sense of quality even if it doesn't deserve it. Falk was a strange but enjoyable find, while Rooker, Seda, Studi, Stevens, Lover and others all fill in around the edges.
Overall this is a fairly vacuous affair that gets by on huff, puff, energy and style and just about does it well enough to provide a distracting film without doing anything great. Two sets of genre clichés are pushed together and delivered with energy by Hill and his impressive cast and, while it isn't anything special it should at least provide brainless filler for 90 minutes.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?