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I got to tell you that I am over this fad of supposed realism in direction by filming scenes with the camera swiveling everywhere, bouncing and jumping quickly from angle to angle for no apparent reason. It’s not “realistic” or “innovative.” It’s lazy and looks amatuer.

Normally, I am a fan of Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg and especially Amy Adams, but the acting was pretty subpar for this movie. Bale acted like a Family Guy parody of the washed-up, drug-addled brother; Wahlberg was stiff and unconvincing in his melodrama; and, Adams just seemed bored and not into her role. Melissa Leo was, like the rest of the film, a cliche, and very underwhelming. I just wasn’t invested in these characters. I did not care about their struggles.

The human aspect of the film was glossed over so they could hurry up and get to the stock footage of boxing scenes and the dull-edged matches. The plot was formulaic; and, I know it was “based” on a true story, but if the story was as boring as this, maybe they shouldn’t have adapted it to film.

I’ll give them some credit for the comeback story, but it wasn’t like we were seeing something new. This movie is a run-of-the-mill, garden variety boxing flick that brings nothing fresh to the table. I guess people are feeling nostalgic. I give it a 1.75 out of 5.


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