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Ken Del Vecchio,
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Allison Thomas Lee,
I'm a Robert Loggia fan, and him being in it drew me to this movie when I saw it Walmart. Thank you, Mr. Loggia! The Great Fight is about an autistic kid, who is a savant. A savant has special, incredible skills. Skills that others don't have, like being able to play Beethoven on the piano after hearing him only once, or knowing every major league baseball statistic since 1900. There are less than 50 autistic savants in the world who have what are called prodigious skills. The lead character in this movie, Anthony, played perfectly by an unknown (Miguel Jarquin Moreland) has the prodigious skill of fighting, and we learn a Spanish language skill as the mysteries in The Great Fight unfold. Anthony is a high school student who keeps getting kicked out of school. His sister, who is a lawyer, moves from Florida to New Jersey to try to start a new life for Anthony in his senior year. But soon enough, after being picked on for being a recluse (he doesn't socialize with any of the other students and is always distant, Anthony beats the hell out of two bullies upon them cursing at him in Spanish. He troubled cop, played very believably by another newcomer (Frank Giglio) takes Anthony under his wing. The cop also owns a mixed martial arts school, and desperately wants to leave the police force to again fight in the ring. Anthony, however, takes him in a different direction. One of the bullies that Anthony beat down in school is the prize fighter for a a rival MMA school, run by a prosecutor "Zane Carrol." One of the best performances of the film is played here, by Eric Etebari, a character actor from movies like 2 Fast 2 Furious and The Lincoln Lawyer. Zane, the bad sensei, despises the police officer, the good sensei (not only because they are rival senseis but because they battle in court). The story, much more intricate than The Karate Kid outline I'm giving, develops into a thought-provoking mentor-prodigy suspense drama that shows just how intelligent and talented disabled persons can be. A few twists in the plot constantly make the you think and ask for more. As for Mr. Loggia, he delivers one of the best performances of his career in this movie, most certainly the best in his later career. He plays a wickedly clever psychiatrist who is the catalyst for figuring out the mystery of Anthony's skills, and identifying that he is a savant. But Loggia is unconventional as a doctor and, even in his late 70s, he gives a gruff, tough, and even physical performance in order to effectively unleash his character. Also a cool cameo from Martin Kove (The Karate Kid's bad sensei) playing the mentor to Zane (The Great Fight's bad sensei). So Kove is the bad sensei's sensei. Liked the cute performances by cop duo Jackie The Joke Man Martling from the Howard Stern Show and Joyce DeWitt (Janet from "Three's Company"). I don't know if The Great Fight was in the theaters, but this one should be nominated for something at the Oscars, at least for its writing or Loggia or the young guy Moreland who played Anthony.
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