6.8/10
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119 user 158 critic

Redbelt (2008)

R | | Drama, Sport | 9 May 2008 (USA)
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2:07 | Trailer

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A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Joe Collins
...
Academy Fighter
...
...
...
...
...
Gini Collins
Luciana Souza ...
Singer in Bar
...
The Magician (as Cyril Takata)
Scott Barry ...
Billy the Bartender
...
...
Dylan Flynn
...
Ricardo Silva
...
Ricardo Wilke ...
Eduardo
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Storyline

Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading. A woman sideswipes Mike's car and then, after an odd sequence of events, shoots out the studio's window. Later that evening, Mike rescues an action movie star in a fistfight at a bar. In return, the actor befriends Mike, gives him a gift, offers him work on his newest film, and introduces Mike's wife to his own - the women initiate business dealings. Then, things go sour all at once, Mike's debts mount, and going into the ring may be his only option. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

fight | bar | debt | jujitsu | instructor | See All (122) »

Taglines:

There's always a way out. You just have to find it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 May 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ceinture rouge  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$63,361 (USA) (2 May 2008)

Gross:

$2,344,847 (USA) (11 July 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chiwetel Ejiofor trained for nearly 3 months before shooting, spending up to 12 hours daily (according to David Mamet) studying and practicing jiu-jitsu. See more »

Goofs

When Mike is on Chet's set during the knife demonstration, the knife fighters shirt first appears to be clean. When the camera shot changes it becomes sweaty in the front and back, and when the camera changes again it appears to be clean. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mike Terry: Tie him up.
[to class]
Mike Terry: The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.
[to student]
Mike Terry: Take him to court.
See more »

Connections

References The Karate Kid (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Voce Nao Me Ve
Written by Rebecca Pidgeon and David Mamet
Portuguese translation by Luciana Souza
Published by Dwight Street Music (BMI), Bella Panorama Music (BMI) and Songs of Windswept Pacific (BMI)
All rights on behalf of Dwight Street Music, Bella Panorama Music administered by Songs of Windswept Pacific
Performed by Luciana Souza
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If you like emotion and objective correlatives, you'll like this movie ...
10 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie and was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked this movie. Although at first I didn't know why.

After all, the script, as narrative, is full of holes. Big holes. Without going into details, the initial scene with shot fired has been accurately described as full of holes as swiss cheese. Yet this scene is a key part of the movie, referenced again and again. This is not good.

The title, pictures, and promos were all fundamentally misleading. I went expecting a martial arts film. But it turns out to be a drama. If you are looking for martial arts action, you'll come away very, very disappointed. This too is not good.

The final sequence is utterly incredible. This has been pointed out again and again. This is a basic plot failure. And this too is not good.

And yet ... and yet I came away really, really feeling good about this movie I had just seen. Why?

Well, first, if you view the script not as a narrative, but as a sequence of loosely connected scenes designed to evoke one emotion or thought or the other ... like tableaux vivants, or what TS Eliot called objective correlatives ... well, it works. For example, we have a main character stripped of everything in a series of narratively impossible scenes; and yet the emotions involved in "losing everything" are conveyed powerfully and evocatively. Likewise the ending redemptive sequence is narratively incredible; but emotionally very, very satisfying. This is all to the good.

The characters, acting, and characterizations were all excellent. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mike Terry was superb. And the Mike Terry character is simply a delight, likable, appealing, interesting. Tim Allen was successfully cast against type. Ricky Jay's Marty Brown the sports promoter is utterly slimy and yet I couldn't take my eyes off of him. After every scene, I felt like running to the restroom to wash my hands and face and ears. He is sliminess personified. But all the characters were well drawn whether likable or disgusting. All to the good.

The cinematography and scenes were well drawn and well depicted. There were some really gripping, evocative shots I especially like: such as the Tim Allen character in dark profile. All to the good.

All in all, I'd say if you like emotion and objective correlatives, I think you'll like this movie. Don't go looking for martial arts, and don't go looking for a sound narrative; but if you want good, solid punch, you've come to the right place.


43 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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It's OK if you don't 'get it' ProfessorStatik
Was Tim Allens Character....???.... legendkiller00
Masterful Film - Very Moving Ending... Allardyce99
For those of you who don't 'Get it'... ThikSkin
Even Mamet couldn't ruin Ejiofor Decemberender
How does the ending work? lethalweapon
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