The movie is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, N.Y., during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.
Robert Downey Jr.,
Shawn MacArthur, the kind-hearted son of an Alabama wrestling coach, makes a grim living selling fake products on the streets in New York. After dealing with thieving punks, he's discovered by bare-knuckle/street-fight manager, Harvey Boarden. He soon proves himself worthy and starts earning a small fortune, part of which he volunteers to spend on single mother Zulay Velez. Shawn doesn't cheat and that seems to be a major problem, notably after the arrival of his Alabama high-school rival. Written by
Dito Montiel's film has been advertised as the 'Rocky of our generation', however I do believe they were referring to the fifth film in the Rocky franchise. Predictable, boring, tedious, lifeless are just a few words I could use to describe this film, but I really only need to use one; terrible.
Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) is your typical working-class boy who is taken under the wing of an ageing con-man named Harvey (Terrence Howard) and given the opportunity to make his American dream come true by participating in various back-room bare-knuckle fights. Oh, and the stereotypical love-interest in the form Zulay (Zulay Henao) is also thrown into the mix. Now, despite this description describing various films from the last few years (never mind the last few decades), it contains three huge, jaw-shattering constraints: 1) Despite being named Fighting, the film ironically contains very little fighting or brawling in regards to its hundred-minute running time. And when we do get to see some face-bruising action, the Director seems to get incredibly giddy with the camera and what we are left with is some Paul Greengrass jerkiness that allows you to observe very little especially when the camera is thrown into the heart of the action.
2) Terrence Howard puts a little effort into his character and drags out a performance worthy of a film better than this, however Channing Tatum does not follow his lead. His stony expression and Brando-style mumbling is just plain annoying and unconvincing, yet he is the lead protagonist at the forefront of the film, and his performance drags the film down considerably.
3) Finally, Munic and Montiel's script has about as much weight as a feather and as punch as a fighter out-cold on the mat. We learn little about the characters until late into the film when there life stories seem to just be thrown around quickly to fill various plot-holes. While, the majority of the dialogue is just clichéd and cringe-worthy, most notably a scene at the end of the film that precedes the final fight sequence, which can only be described as hilariously idiotic.
Fighting is crime against cinema. It is a film which gives the audience absolutely nothing, yet takes from them their hard-earned cash in the form of their admittance fee. The only reason I can think why this film was distributed to theatres instead of being a straight-to-DVD affair, is down to the influence of having a star like Terrence Howard in the picture. Don't waste your time or money on this abomination.
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