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A middle-aged, down-and-out kickboxer, once contender for the heavyweight title, struggles to rebuild his shattered life as he makes his way back home to his lost love and his one last chance at redeeming his tortured soul. Written by
The most intense part of this great independent film is when the Referee with the weird, almost overdubbed voice instructs the fighters to fight fair. It's bittersweet, like the performance turned in by Brando in "Waterfront". He looks like a Scotch Charlie Sheen, and is so into his performance that it transitions the scene with an almost Van-Damme-like smoothness. Unlike other 'fight' films, this one seems to have been made with every scene played with fullest heart (maximum return on the indie-budget investment, no doubt). Some films feature such background characters that seem to glow forth from the rest of the picture, as does this referee character. It's hard to overlook such amazing talent, especially when he's given such a pivotal role. His counterpart (another Ref, played by the former mayor of Lewiston, Maine, where this movie was filmed) seems over-the-top in comparison. This films beauty is in how the McLean referee internalizes--keeping his acting to a level of realism very similar to Hopkins' "Lambs" role in 1991. If only this piece of genuine cinema been offered to wider audiences, we might have seen the beginning of a new era of such fight-genre films. Perhaps it will re-emerge. Ten stars.
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