What's My Name: Muhammad Ali (2019)
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I fall into the latter camp of that previous question, having read multiple books on Ali and pretty much seen all the relevant docs. When I saw the title of this HBO production, I thought that it would delve more into the social/political side of Ali, but instead it proved to be pretty much a straight bio of his career both inside and outside the boxing ring.
Because it is HBO at the wheel, the production value could not be higher and it does pull out some photos/videos I had never seen before. However, as a seasoned Ali scholar, I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed that "What's My Name" didn't "pick a lane, so to speak", and try to examine one issue of his life instead of tackling the whole ball of wax. Because I this, I have to rate 2009's "Facing Ali" and 2014's "I Am Ali" as better docs overall.
All of that being said, if this is perhaps the first Ali doc a viewer has ever watched, it will make quite an impression, as it does hit all the relevant points in his life and contains great music and interviews. It's long--nearly three hours--but never feels boring or slow.
So, ultimately, one's appreciation of "What's My Name" will almost certainly be determined by what they've seen of him before. Anyone can enjoy this, but Ali "scholars" may struggle with the lack of any new angle.
Second thing: Damn ENDING. On every documentary you are crying at the end because there is presented death and especially peoples reaction because of death of main character; and I cried because that was missing. How is that possible??? I mean, I've cried when Ali died. Children from Africa which doesn't even have TV knew him and cried as well, not to mention public reaction of famous people etc etc. Nothing.
He said that God gave him disease to let him know that he is actualy number one, and it's not mentioned also.
So 7 of 10 just because of Ali, but it had to be done better!