The story about a cheating and incompetent lawyer (Harry Fabian) who suddenly gets obsessed on becoming a boxing promoter.The story about a cheating and incompetent lawyer (Harry Fabian) who suddenly gets obsessed on becoming a boxing promoter.The story about a cheating and incompetent lawyer (Harry Fabian) who suddenly gets obsessed on becoming a boxing promoter.
Ambulance chasing lawyer Harry Fabian (De Niro) has grand designs to be a boxing promoter. Unfortunately this ruffles the feathers of a local promoter who is not exactly known for his kindness...
It's often unfair to do down a remake of a classic film, with the rule of thumb being we are asked to judge said remake on its own terms. However, Winkler's neo-noir remake of Jules Dassin's brilliant 1950 film noir of the same name just lacks the edginess or urgency to make a mark.
It's not down to performances of the cast or the tech production in general, in fact De Niro, Warden and the under written Lange are watchable, while Fujimoto's photography around the New York locations is superlative. Yet the characters as written here, in the shift from postwar London to a thrumming NYC, have no psychological pangs to drive the picture forward.
Harry trudges from one slice of idiocy to another, with a big plot development making no sense, and all the time there's ill placed humour hanging over the plot to further compound the feeling we are watching a disjointed attempt at neo-noir nirvana. While the conclusion here is weak and kind of a cheat.
The makers dedicated the film to Dassin, that's a nice sentiment, but really they should have honoured him by making a far better movie in the spirit of the great director himself. 5/10
- Aug 11, 2013