At Least They Provided a Disclaimer, But There's No Schmaltz Alert!
They played hard and fast with the facts, but I've got no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is all the schmaltz. I'm talking here about corny lines and ham acting, the epitome of the latter being the Carnera character's "Do you know what it's like to be hungry?" soliloquy. Laughable. The musical score was annoying. Why do so many movies these days use tepid strings arrangements? The movie was interesting enough, but still, it was formulaic and uninspired. The characters were shallow, especially Max Baer's, which was really a caricature. I had the feeling they shot this thing in a week and a half, just to get it over with. I had to cringe when Primo proposes to his sweetheart after beating Jack Sharkey for the championship. Ludicrous. They should have stuck a tad bit more to the facts regarding Primo's handlers, and forgone all that schmaltz! To this day, questions linger over Carnera's career, especially as to which of his fights were fixed (if indeed they were) and which weren't (if indeed they weren't). The man in real life was abused by his handlers and his life as a boxer was a lonely one, but you wouldn't know it from this schmaltzy film. They could have explored this aspect of Carnera's life a bit more. Furthermore, Carnera had a full and interesting life after his boxing career ended, and they could have explored this more as well. Instead, Carnera gets short shrift here by his depiction as a one-dimensional character. Okay, one-and-a-half, he gets to throw a couple of tantrums here and there. Yeesh!
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