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
Second movie with Terrence Howard to feature a montage to the song "Trouble Man" by Marvin Gaye. The first being Four Brothers. See more »
After Shawn's first fight when he arrives at the night club he is seen stepping out of the car clearly sporting 2 bruises on his face. After the scene shifts to the interior, his bruises have all disappeared. See more »
Dito Montiel ('A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints') has a sense of the raw flavor of the streets of New York and he is apparently respected enough to have actors of the quality of Terrence Howard and Luis Guzmán sign on to his projects. His latest release on DVD is FIGHTING (co-written with Robert Munic), a rather tepid film trying hard to be a piece of verismo. The story is so overused that it no longer can maintain an audience's interest: the outcome of the film is guessed within the first few minutes. Briefly, Shawn MacArthur (model and type cast actor Channing Tatum) works the streets of New York around Radio Music Hall, selling ripoff copies of books and gadgets to tourists. He is involved in a fight, observed by the quiet scam artist Harvey Boarden (a wasted role for Terrence Howard) and by a young girl Zulay (Zulay Henao), and while Shawn's eye fixes on Zulay, Harvey's eye is on Shawn's possibilities as a 'fight for money' partner. Shawn moves in with Harvey, develops a relationship with Zulay, and proceeds to win fights for money, until he is asked to fix a fight - a bit of conscience blurring created by a clash with his own father and the proposed opponent Evan Hailey (Brian White) - and ends his 'career' in a way we can all imagine.
One would suppose we should care about the relationship between Shawn and Harvey and how mutually saprophytic it becomes, but the script get in the way of have us care about anyone in the film - with the possible exception of Zulay's abuela (Altagracia Guzmán), a little cameo that almost make the rest of the film worth watching. This is one of those movies that promises a lot but simply cannot deliver more than a dreary rehash of street fight movies. Grady Harp, August 09
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