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The fight ends when someone quits or is knocked unconscious. Don't look to the referee for help. If you get into trouble, your opponent will break your elbow, knee you in the head, or choke you out. This isn't ancient Greece or Rome. This is Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or New York. The time is now. Welcome to the world of no-holds-barred freestyle fighting...the fastest growing "sport" in the United States, Brazil, and Japan. CHOKE follows undisputed World Freestyle Fighting Champion Rickson Gracie as he prepares to defend his title in a one-night, single elimination tournament where the winner will fight 3 separate fights over five hours. The World Cup finals of hand-to-hand combat.Written by
Why can't Hollywood movies be as exciting as CHOKE?
Combining the behind-the-scenes footage of a sports documentary and the structure of a Hollywood dramatic feature, CHOKE is a completely original and provocative film. Alternating the stories of 3 of the 8 fighters of the Vale Tudo--a no-holds-barred fighting tournament held in Tokyo--during the months leading up to the event, Goodman is able to capture what so many Van Damme movies have failed to do: put you in the mind set of a fighter: the adrenaline, the fear, the pain, the shame, the glory. Goodman resists making overt judgments about whether these violent events are good or bad, but he does so deliberately; by avoiding investigating or answering the question head-on, he allows the characters to develop and express HIS feelings simply through THEIR action. His voice is heard, but not identified as his. This is nimble and talented directing. But the Director's steady hand does not resist exposing the personal hypocricies of the fighters, nor does he shy away from the occasional cynical moment. The 3 fighters CHOKE follows are so different from each other that one might think they were cast. But I don't think you could cast so realistically. No one would believe it. RICKSON GRACIE is the handsome, unbelievable talented, undefeated World Champion ju-jitsu wrestler from Brazil who puts his family's heritage on the line every time he fights. He risks losing everything he stands for if he will be defeated. (The training footage of him in unbelievable!). TODD HAYES is the huge pro-football player who figths in order to pay for a bobsled so he can compete with the US Olympic bobsledding team. KOICHURO KIMURA is the overgrown man-child who fights because his wrestling coach wants him to, it seems. (the only slowish parts of CHOKE are those that follow Kimura's plight--and even these become exciting at the end...). I looked for other documentaries or features from the Director but could not find any. If CHOKE is his first film, I can't wait to see his second. Bravo.
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