Pomeranian (NE German) boxer Max Schmelling, a fair, courageous gentleman, becomes world champion and a national hero in the early 1930s, winning the hand of singer Anny Ondra. Just for loosing against younger, fitter colored American Joe Louis, the Nazi regime lifts Max's privileges and sends him to the front, hoping he'll be killed in action. Yet he survives the conquest of Crete and by freeing a British prisoner unwittingly saves his own skin when after the Soviet conquest of his home region, Max is nearly taken PoW. He starts all over, although rather too old, with remarkable results. Written by
Max Schmeling was a hero and an icon in every sense of the word. He straddled the ethical and moral line as best any German citizen could have during a time of almost unimaginable social and political chaos. In the midst of a dark cloud surrounding Nazi Germany, Schmeling was the last, best hope for a moderate, admiring view of the eastern European nation.
Given his status and continuing popularity among Germans and boxing fans worldwide, one has to wonder how it came to pass that "director" (and this term is used quite loosely) Uwe Bolle (as executive producer) managed to foist his latest fiasco on audiences in the guise of a movie about the life and times of one of the world's premiere athletes. "Mak Schmeling, Fist of the Reich" can best be described as "Max Schmeling: F_sting the Reich." Not since Uncle Adolph himself has one man done so much to offend so many.
Low on plot points, completely lacking in style and pace and heavy on pretentiousness, "Max Schmeling" is the logical follow-up to Bolle's "Blubberella" as an homage to out-takes strung together in the guise of a movie. "Star" Henry Maske's debut as the iconic heavyweight champion should mark the fastest decent into disaster since the Hindenberg. He is wooden and talentless in the lead role of Schmelling, and speaks most eloquently when saying absolutely nothing. There is little positive to say about this movie; I won't bore you with the less than stellar specifics.
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