In Standing8 a boxer struggles to cope with the impact of him having killed his previous opponent in the ring. In this way the film does tread the ground you expect it to, and it does so in a pretty engaging and satisfying manner. Quick edits to the fight are combined with solid drama which is played well along genre lines. The film seems to focus very much on CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) which is the degenerative disease found in people with repeated brain trauma, and this level of detail does add to the realism of the piece in some ways, with use of experts informing the detail of the film. This is a double-edged sword though, because the same focus on CTE specifically takes the film away from the character we had been following, and makes it feel more like a PSA perhaps.
It is still delivered with style and professionalism, and it is this that does help carry it but it doesn't totally get over that break into being informative in the final third. Hill is good in the film, and he helps make the dramatic sections work. He is a good actor and gets to show a bit of it here – which is good considering how infrequently his main work on Elementary gives him that room to act out of his character a bit. Still, even with him and the style, the film does have that PSA feeling towards the end, when it needed to integrate that better into the more general dramatic flow.
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