Desperate for cash to save his deathly ill mother, college wrestler Ali (George Kosturos, AMERICAN WRESTLER: THE WIZARD) enters the hidden world of underground fighting. Ali shows promise, but he lacks skills, and gets beaten bloody. Duke (Sean Patrick Flanery, THE BOONDOCK SAINTS), a troubled handler, takes pity on the boy and trains him to be a fierce competitor-but is it enough to make Ali a winner? This gritty action tale also stars Tommy Flanagan ("Sons of Anarchy").
Nostalgia, Fights and realism make American Fighter a great watch!
Shaun Paul Piccinino directs American Fighter and you can tell from the fight scenes that Piccinino (said Peach-ah-nino) has a vast amount of experience in the stunt business. The film's cinematography doesn't blow you away, but what the director does, is choose to go with a realistic approach to the fights.
Gone is the blood and gore that has become a staple of the genre; we don't get any dramatic slow-motion punches and heads swing around with sweat spinning off. We get a rawness and fast-paced energy in each fight that helps keep the narrative at the centre of the film, while still satisfying the fight fans needs.
The choice to go with the gritty rather than glitzy was a bold choice but one that was well made and gave the film a realism. Being a movie set in the 80s the use of the training and fight montages fits more snuggly than it does in today's movies and the choices of homage to Rocky and some other 80s classics make this fun to watch.
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