- Director:Dito Montiel
- Cast:Luis Guzman, Terrence Howard, Channing Tatum, Brian J White
- Release Date:August 27, 2009
- Running time:105 minutes
- Film Worth:$9.00
- FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth
Despite the formulaic script and cringe worthy moments, the performances from the leads and creation of the subculture are well executed by director Montiel.
Here's the deal: Fighting is as original as a Friday The 13th sequel. After the first ten minutes, you'll be able to figure out the film's whole plot - ending included. As far as the story goes, Fighting is as formulaic as they get - exploiting indiscriminately every sports/ underdog movie cliche that you can think of. Having said that, what this movie lacks in originality it makes up for in execution. Director Dito Montiel's focus is on developing the characters and making them as believable as possible, which helps to make the film's highly implausible scenarios a bit easier to swallow.
G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra's Channing Tatum plays Shawn, a country boy who, in order to survive in New York City, becomes a counterfeiter. After getting involved in a fight with three guys (and kicking the crap out of them), Shawn is approached by the shady Harvey Boarden (a magnificent Terrence Howard), who offers him the chance to make big money on his illegal fighting circuit - the kind where rich people bet heavily and scream their lungs out at the fighters. The obligatory romantic subplot comes in the form of cutie Zulay (actress Zulay Henao making the most of her exotic name), a single mother who falls for Shawn and wants him to stop fighting before it's too late. Montiel often switches from graphic violent sequences to over-sentimental dialogues that would make Rocky cringe.
What's really amazing about Fighting is that even though it has all the elements of a direct-to-video, avoid-unless-really-bored flick, it actually is much better than one would expect from its premise - thanks, mainly, to overall good performances, and Montiel's portrayal of a subculture that, even at its most exaggerated, manages to ring true.