Monday, May 11, 2009

Resurrecting the Champ [2007]

Director: Rod Lurie
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Kathryn Morris, Alan Alda, Teri Hatcher
Genre: Drama/Sports (Boxing)
Points: 90 out of 100
Rating: General
Comment: "An intriguing tale of a true story that was based on a lie..."

More than any other sport, boxing seems to be on top of the list when it comes to stories that deal with courage, resilience and overcoming obstacles in life. Probably just coincidence, but boxing is the kind of sport where they have no one but themselves. Granted, technically they have their trainer and cutman in their team, but in the end it is them who have to get the job done. This idea is reflected throughout the movie.

Based on a true story, the plot revolves around a sports journalist, Erik Kernan Jr, who is in dire need for a big 'break'. He gets what he wished for, and his break comes in the form of a washed-out boxing contender whose prime was in the 1940's and the 1950's. However, after Kernan published an article about him, he finds out that this boxer is not who he claims to be.

While the big picture is indeed about boxing, this movie explores more on the concept of identity and father-and-son relationship. Possibly one of those tearjerker movies for men.

Performances given by the cast are strong, although the performance given by Samuel L. Jackson might take a bit of a getting used to. Not that there's anything wrong with it. It's just that, he is a bit too well-known as a "tough guy" actor. So watching him playing a wuss might be laughable at first, until the emotion gets through the physical side of the character.

This is definitely something for everyone because it is one of those movies that transcends above the genre from "just a boxing movie", to a human drama. Similar to what movies like The Champ [1931], Ali [2001], Cinderella Man [2005] and many others did for the genre.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Strong performances
- Deep
- Boxing!

The Bad [-10]
- A bit slow moving

100 - 10 = 90 points

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