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Thierry van Werveke
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The Boxer has some good points going for it but clearly shows how film is a visual medium - what looks and sounds good on paper doesn't translate up on the screen.
The plot, ex-con doesn't want to fight, but trainer Stacy Keach persuades, is pretty paper thin, but and here is the first big mistake: the script is blatantly clichéd from beginning to end - and not in a good way. This film clearly has aspirations to be an inspirational sports movie but Raging Bull or Rocky it ain't.
It's all too simplistic, even the training scenes don't build enough, and while the fights scenes are well choreographed, if lacking real oomph, the camera lacks the imagination to follow through.
The biggest fault lies in the grading of the film: it is just too Hallmark in its coloring and angles and more thought on production design would have helped enormously.
The one real negative of this however is smoking. For a sports film to see chain smoking in every scene was just too much - was it really necessary for character? Off putting to put it mildly.
Not a dreadful film, it just lacks that spark.
If boxing or the boxing genre are your thing then you may well enjoy this - it is too clichéd for our taste - but it has its moments.
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