In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his Olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favor of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of ...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Giancarlo Esposito, who plays Muhammad Ali's father, was also in Malcolm X (1992) as one of Malcolm X's assassins. See more »
In the last fight of the film, Ali always sits down between each round. In reality, he never sat down in this fight. See more »
Are you prepared to apologize about your un-patriotic remarks about the war?
No? You say you are the people's champion.
Do you think you're acting like you're the people's champion?
Yes, sir. I am not going to apologize to you. This is not a courtroom and I do not have to sit here and answer your questions.
[he gets up and leaves]
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The Columbia Pictures logo rolls backwards. See more »
A Director's Cut was released on DVD in North America on June 1st, 2004. The runtime of the film is approximately 8 minutes longer at around 165 minutes, but the changes are more significant than it seems: Director Michael Mann deleted about 5 minutes of footage and put 14 minutes of new material in. See more »
The fights are not rocky-type or "entertaining" but REAL. Inside the boxing ring, things are different. I was glad to see close to perfect adaptation of Ali's fights (I watched documentary on Ali's career). Michael Mann gets credit for painting all the different aspects of Ali's life superbly. Well, 'Ali' is based on a real legend and not a super-hero and so it is hell of a job to portray such a personality on big screen and make it so entertaining to watch.
The only downside of the movie was to focus a little longer on effect of Africa on him. But the "Loud mouth" CHAMPs witty and "punchy" remarks in his real life along, with his big blows inside the ring, will keep you glued for more.
Overall, Will Smith's hard-work, Mann's adaptation and Mohammad Ali's legendary life makes 'Ali' a must watch for movie goers.
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