5.7/10
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21 user 6 critic

The Challenger (2015)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sport | 11 September 2015 (USA)
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A Bronx boxer fights his way to a better life.

Director:

Kent Moran

Writer:

Kent Moran
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kent Moran ... Jaden
Michael Clarke Duncan ... Duane
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Jada
Justin Hartley ... James
Frank Watson Frank Watson ... Terrence
Stan Carp ... Joe
Rob Morgan ... Frederick
Michael Rivera ... Sanchez
Robert Pike Daniel ... Vincent
Ernie Sabella ... Frankie
Lindsay Hartley ... Stephanie
Steven Hauck ... TV Executive
Raushanah Simmons ... Laurie
Kelvin Hale ... Commentator #1
Jason Horowitz Jason Horowitz ... Commentator #2
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Storyline

Bronx native Jaden Miller, 24, could've had a better life, but fighting within a prestigious school cost his scholarship and an expulsion. Now a high school dropout working from job to job, evicted with nowhere to call home, he decides to train as a boxer under discredited trainer Duane Taylor. The local PBS station picks up on the story and wants to document Jaden's progress as he becomes slated to take on the champion, James Burchard, an undefeated boxer of less-than-appealing character. Jaden's mom, Jada (ailing from a heart condition), sees no good in this, as it was fighting that so far ruined his life, but Duane sees within Jaden an it factor that could make him great. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fight for who you are.

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sports violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Hindi

Release Date:

11 September 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Претендент See more »

Filming Locations:

Bronx, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,246, 13 September 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$19,003, 20 September 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wishing Well Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Clarke Duncan's last film following his death in 2012 aged 54. See more »

Quotes

Jada: Let me tell you something, son. There's a reason why I found you. There's a reason why this fight found you. Now, I know I've tried to fight it, but this is your path, so take it. Mm? Take it.
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Connections

References Fight of the Century (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Unbreakable
Composed by Gian Zuccarelli, Michele Zuccarelli, Athalie Rivera, Brian Neal, Fields Blanchard Jr. & Saeed Renaud
Written by Athalie Rivera, Brian Neal, Gian Zuccarelli, Fields Blanchard Jr., Saeed Renaud, Gian Zuccarelli & Michele Zuccarelli
Performed by Athalie, SR Soel
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User Reviews

 
wow -- breaks every "fight film" rule
13 February 2016 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

When Stallone did Rocky I, you would think from the hype at the time that he invented the boxing film.

No he did not. He re-invented it. Boxing films have been around forever and the first rule of a good boxing film is to connect with the audience by allowing them to "grow" with the protagonist, to improve from fight to fight.

And that was the first rule the producers broke.

Given the minimal amount of screen time alloted to the "early" fights for the protagonist/hero (in some cases just 2 seconds per fight) you may have thought that these were real cable fights where the producers did not have the rights to rebroadcast. But no this is a fiction film and they could have made those fights real. They did not.

Frankly, once you break that key rule, once you have no connection between star and viewer, there is no turning back.

But, almost out of perversity, the producers broke another rule and that amazes me. They cast two actors who look alike for both roles in the ring, hero and villain.

So, and I cannot emphasize the bizarreness of this enough, not only does the audience have no connection with the hero in the final fight, but sometimes you can't tell which actor is playing which role.

And the final rule? Good choreography in the fights. The audience should feel every punch. Here the audience only feels cheated.

A rarity. A boxing film that, like a bad boxer, starts out weak. And then just gets weaker.

Of course, the fact that the film is a "vanity" film -- the same guy is the writer director and star -- may be a factor. But what do I know -- I am just a reviewer.

Terrible film.


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