When and how did I watch this?
March 1st, 2016, on a friend’s PLEX account.
Had I seen this film already?
What did I know about the movie before watching it?
MMA-based film. I like boxing films, and I was looking forward to a similar caliber movie to the other sports films on the list.
What do I know about it now?
It’s a highly overrated film filled with cliches and extremely convenient coincidences. Tommy (Hardy) works very well and apparently received appropriate accolades, but it was hard for me to believe Brendan as a legitimate person. He’s too old, too small, his school suspends him for a generally acceptable sport in the 21st century, he slides into a high purse tournament (wouldn’t this have drawn some big MMA stars?) on short training, gets absolutely mashed multiple times and walks into the next fight without a scrape. His whole motive is avoiding losing a house — but instead of just downsizing to an apartment temporarily, he puts his family on the line by participating in a winner-take-all tournament? Completely absurd. There’s an untapped/underdeveloped story with Tommy’s involvement in the military. The fighting is nice, and Nolte turns in a nice performance, albeit a somewhat useless one apart from providing a catalyst for the two brothers hating each other. To me, this film is akin to Bloodsport or The Karate Kid (the Macchio version, not Jaden Smith. My gosh, no), and not “better” than the likes of Rocky, which is ranked nearly seventy spots lower.
What are some themes in the film?
Pride, family, forgiveness
Did this affect me personally?
Sort of. Brendan’s near tapout in the first tournament fight was fairly tense. Not much else happening here for me.
Why is this ranked #142?
I really don’t know. Again, it would seem Rocky would be far higher than this, but I think the voters blew it here. The movie is fine, but it’s not as big of a deal as its rank permits.
Did my wife watch/like it?
She did. She was actually bored.
Would I watch it again?
Would I recommend it to a friend?
It pays respect to MMA (although weight class seems to be wholly ignored), so if you want some good fight choreography, here it is. If you’re looking for a great piece of cinema, look elsewhere.
Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?