5.7/10
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The Philly Kid (2012)

R | | Action, Drama, Sport | 11 May 2012 (USA)
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1:54 | Trailer
A former NCAA champion wrestler, paroled after ten years in prison, agrees to a series of cage fights to save a friend's life and is asked to do the impossible - lose.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dillon
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...
Amy
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LA Jim
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Ace
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Marks
Adam Mervis ...
Ryan Maygold
Bernard Hocke ...
Lenny
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Allison Kaufman
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Spencer
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Arthur Letts
...
Rich Clementi ...
Sanchez
Kasey Emas ...
Tina
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Chase (as Kristopher Van Varenberg)
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Storyline

An attempt to purchase beer becomes a nightmare for underage friends Chase, Jake and Dillon when Chase ends up dead, Jake gets shot in the back, and Dillon - a championship wrestler - goes to prison for manslaughter. Released after ten years, Dillon's greeted by Jake, who lines him up with a job and introduces him to the world of minor league MMA fighting. Due to Jake's outstanding gambling debt, Dillon agrees to three fights to cover it and literally save Jake's life but finds himself caught between gangsters, dirty cops, a shady promoter, a snide parole officer and Jake's disapproving sister. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His only way out is getting back in

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

11 May 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Philly Kid  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is called "Brawler" on the UK Netflix. See more »

Goofs

Among his many injuries, Jake gets shot in the mouth, putting a hole through his cheek. Though sutured up and leaving only a small scratch (remarkable in itself), the blast alone would have burned his mouth, yet the injury fails to impede Jake's diction in any degree. See more »

Quotes

Ace: Take care of my horse, Jake. See you soon.
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Connections

References The Wire (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Asylum Street
Written by Ian Honeyman
Performed by Ian Honeyman and Daniel Rojas
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User Reviews

 
His Only Way Out is Getting Back In
2 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ever since the popularity of HUNGER GAMES the concept of watching young people in cages fight each other with no holds barred even to the death, have proliferated. Says something about the audience desires, or fads, or the gladiator mentality in all mankind since the Roman arenas. THE PHILLY KID is a low budget little pertinent drama that for the genre is better than the usual. Written by Adam Mervis (who also acts the role of the main character's understanding parole officer) and directed with fine pacing by Jason Connery, the movie somehow catches fire - likely due to a cast of up and coming young actors.

Dillon (Wes Chatham, a hunk newbie the camera loves) is a former NCAA champion wrestler has just been released form 10 years in prison for braking the neck of a thug during a holdup in front of a liquor store where he (at around age 16) was buying alcohol with a fake ID for his friend Jake (Devon Sawa, impressive in a difficult role). Dillon now lives in a filthy halfway house and is without money until his old friend Jake finds him a job in a liquor store owned by a kindly man Lenny (Bernard Hocke). Jake's sister Amy (Sarah Butler) is on the scene and eventually becomes the love interest for Dillon. It seems Jake is heavily in debt to conman Ace (Lucky Johnson) and Jake, knowing Dillon's ability as a wrestler, pleads with Dillon to fight for money in the underground cage fighting scene to save a Jake's life. Another evil force is the police officer Marks (Chris Browning) who arrested Dillon and who hates him and threatens his life if he doesn't fix a fight. Dillon trains, wins some fights, (he is supposed to fight only three fights for Ace to release Jake's debt), and is observed and ultimately trained by LA Jim (Neal McDonough). From there on it is a succession of bloody fights and gore until the end finds a resolution.

The cat is strong and is supported by some solid work by Eric Scott Woods and Michael Jai White. It is always satisfying to see new faces take on tough roles and this cadre of actors pulls it off very well. Not a great film, but a well crafted one for the genre.

Grady Harp


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