Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a 'nice place'. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing - where punches can kill.
A story of two teenagers trapped in the world of illegal underground boxing. One is fighting to save his fathers life and using the money pay off gambling debts accumulated by his father. The second is fighting for the money to get out of the ghettos. While being exploited by a boxing promoter the two teens become friends. An explosive ending puts the two friends in the ring against each other in a fight for survival.Written by
Joe Miller <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Trailers and TV spots gave James Marshall an "introducing" credit, despite the fact that he had several acting credits to his name, notably his role as James Hurley on Twin Peaks (1990). See more »
Tommy Riley's TV has black pen writing on it, written by his dad's debt collectors. The black pen writing changes formation from the scene where it was written on the TV, and where Tommy's dad John left for his new job. See more »
Through the Nineties I did my trips to the video shop to rent B movies as they were mostly better than the Hollywood ones and Gladiator is the one B Movie which stands out. If you watch it now you would compare it to the likes of Rocky and 8 Mile because of it's background set around a dead less town with nobody but dead weights.
I think James Marshall is playing his best [performance of his career which isn't didn't last that long. Cuba Gooding Jnr will be most recognised here as Lincoln. Also there is Brain Dennehy and Robert Loggia as the would be villains. Tommy Riley played by Marshall is a loner and keeps himself to himself but because of this he attracts trouble on his first day in school since moving with his father who is an addictive drunk and gambler who is sorting his life out. Tommy one night is working at the local café and is confronted outside by the local gang run by there leader Short Cut. Punches are thrown and Tommy comes better off but they are interrupted by Pappy Jack played by Robert Loggia who scouts and looks for would be Boxer hopefuls to put them into the ring in illegal boxing. To clear his father's debts he is taken in by the money that the boxing offers and as much he tries to get out of it there is always something bringing him back. Here he meets Romano and becomes friendly with Lincoln and is a household name but knows it's not long till his own brain will be crushed without repair. The man that decides everything is Horn played brilliantly by Brian Dennehy who always has something on each Boxer to continue Boxing and make him more Money than he already has. Greed has an obvious big part to play in the film but what is great to see is how all the young characters bond well as they are into the same mess as each other but know there is no other way out to make money for their families and to get by. There are scenes where you will cheer harder than you did for rocky but it's the performance as with rocky that steal the show with everyone on top form and not one bad word to be said. Films like this are not made these days so appreciate this for what it did in the nineties and also probably helped some careers especially Cuba Gooding who starred in this not much longer after Boyz N The Hood. If you get the chance then watch this as it has a story than it strong enough to better the likes of 8 Mile and has better performances and memorable characters and a the same time will make you feel good about yourself which is why gladiator is the important film that I will always remember.
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