Fighting Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.5
Video 8.0
Audio 8.5
Special Features 3.0
Total 7.5

Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Reviewer: Andrew Proverbs
Classification
: M15+

7.5


Fighting

No referees, no towels, no medics waiting on standby. The world of Fighting is as far removed from the glitz and glamour of the professional boxing circuit as you can get. These fights are scrappy, illegitimate contests held in dingy back rooms and alleyways, for the benefit of criminals and hoodlums out to make a quick buck. 

Shawn Macarthur (Channing Tatum) is on the ropes when we first see him. Having fled in disgrace from his home town of Birmingham, Alabama, he now ekes out a living in the Big Apple by selling counterfeit merchandise to passers-by. After he becomes embroiled in a street brawl with some small-time thugs, Shawn is noticed by hustler Harvey Boardman (Terrence Howard) and given a shot to earn some money by fighting in a series of illegal bouts. 

The fighting itself is offset by Shawns relationships, the most notable being his newfound adoration of waitress Zulay Velez (Zulay Henao) and the sizzling animosity towards home-town rival Evan Hailey (Brian White,) who has become a professional fighter since they parted ways in Birmingham. 

The fight scenes themselves are brutal, excellently choreographed surges of testosterone. Each time Shawn puts his fists up, youre never quite sure if hes strong enough to pull through. The action is tense and unpredictable, and full of dramatic lucky escapes.  

Surprisingly though, there arent that many combat scenes in the movie. The real meat and bones experience of Fighting comes down to the character interaction. The tentative exchanges between Shawn and Zulay come across as charming and realistic, while Harvey, the softly spoken underdog, is fascinating to watch.  

Theres a glowering menace about most of the supporting cast- even old friends seem a hairs breadth away from killing each other, should the money fall the wrong way. The opening scenes in particular show the streets of New York as a tooth-and-nails scramble for money and position, where nice guys dont just finish last- they get trodden on.  

This is a movie without any deep moral messages or pretensions; its made clear, through dialogue between the characters, that there are no trophies or fame on offer for Shawn, should he succeed. Its all about coming out on top, and surviving long enough to get paid.  

The plot is bare bones, but in a good way. The characters are allowed to evolve through interaction in front of us, and arent bogged down by a lot of unnecessary back story. I particularly liked the fact that Harvey and Zulays relationship is left ambiguous- although they insist that nothing ever happened between them, and Shawn appears to believe them, we as the audience are left with some doubts. 

Audio/Video/Special Features: 

The soundtrack to Fighting is sparse but effective. The music lifts suitably for all the films big moments, especially when the drums begin to roll before Shawns final showdown. The sound effects during the fight scenes are bone-jarringly intense. You might find yourself keeping a finger on the volume control though; the scenes of conversation are so quiet, and when the music kicks in again you might be blown out of the room if youve turned it up too much. 

The special features are decidedly ho-hum: a few extended or deleted scenes, which dont really offer any new perspectives on the story, and the theatrical trailer. 

Closing comments: 

With Fighting, Dito Montiel has directed an enjoyable and believable film. If youre looking for a deep and meaningful story to mull over then youd best keep looking. If you just want to be entertained by some great performances, realistic dialogue and thumping fight scenes, your search ends right here.






 
 



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