A fateful event leads to a job in the film business for top mixed-martial arts instructor Mike Terry. Though he refuses to participate in prize bouts, circumstances conspire to force him to consider entering such a competition.
Is there room for principle in Los Angeles? Mike Terry teaches jujitsu and barely makes ends meet. His Brazilian wife, whose family promotes fights, wants to see Mike in the ring making money, but to him competition is degrading. A woman sideswipes Mike's car and then, after an odd sequence of events, shoots out the studio's window. Later that evening, Mike rescues an action movie star in a fistfight at a bar. In return, the actor befriends Mike, gives him a gift, offers him work on his newest film, and introduces Mike's wife to his own - the women initiate business dealings. Then, things go sour all at once, Mike's debts mount, and going into the ring may be his only option.Written by
One of at least seven feature film collaborations of David Mamet with his actor half-brother Tony Mamet. The films are: 'Homicide' (1991), 'Redbelt' (2008), 'Spartan' (2004), 'Lakeboat' (2000), 'Phil Spector' (2013) (TV), 'State and Main' (2000), and 'The Spanish Prisoner' (1997). See more »
In the program opened by Emily Mortimer's character in the tournament, a freeze frame reveals that the bios for the fighters are simply a continuous block of text referring to a fighter named "David," and the text is repeated on the left and right sides of the program. See more »
Tie him up.
The hands are not the issue. The fight is the issue. The battle is the issue. Who imposes the terms of the battle will impose the terms of the peace. Think he has a handicap? No. The other guy has a handicap if he cannot control himself. You control yourself, you control him.
Take him to court.
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Written by Rebecca Pidgeon
Portuguese translation by Luciana Souza
Published by Dwight Street Music (BMI), Bella Panorama Music (BMI) and Songs of Windswept Pacific (BMI)
All rights on behalf of Dwight Street Music, Bella Panorama Music administered by Songs of Windswept Pacific
Performed by Rebecca Pidgeon See more »
If you like emotion and objective correlatives, you'll like this movie ...
I saw this movie and was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked this movie. Although at first I didn't know why.
After all, the script, as narrative, is full of holes. Big holes. Without going into details, the initial scene with shot fired has been accurately described as full of holes as swiss cheese. Yet this scene is a key part of the movie, referenced again and again. This is not good.
The title, pictures, and promos were all fundamentally misleading. I went expecting a martial arts film. But it turns out to be a drama. If you are looking for martial arts action, you'll come away very, very disappointed. This too is not good.
The final sequence is utterly incredible. This has been pointed out again and again. This is a basic plot failure. And this too is not good.
And yet ... and yet I came away really, really feeling good about this movie I had just seen. Why?
Well, first, if you view the script not as a narrative, but as a sequence of loosely connected scenes designed to evoke one emotion or thought or the other ... like tableaux vivants, or what TS Eliot called objective correlatives ... well, it works. For example, we have a main character stripped of everything in a series of narratively impossible scenes; and yet the emotions involved in "losing everything" are conveyed powerfully and evocatively. Likewise the ending redemptive sequence is narratively incredible; but emotionally very, very satisfying. This is all to the good.
The characters, acting, and characterizations were all excellent. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Mike Terry was superb. And the Mike Terry character is simply a delight, likable, appealing, interesting. Tim Allen was successfully cast against type. Ricky Jay's Marty Brown the sports promoter is utterly slimy and yet I couldn't take my eyes off of him. After every scene, I felt like running to the restroom to wash my hands and face and ears. He is sliminess personified. But all the characters were well drawn whether likable or disgusting. All to the good.
The cinematography and scenes were well drawn and well depicted. There were some really gripping, evocative shots I especially like: such as the Tim Allen character in dark profile. All to the good.
All in all, I'd say if you like emotion and objective correlatives, I think you'll like this movie. Don't go looking for martial arts, and don't go looking for a sound narrative; but if you want good, solid punch, you've come to the right place.
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