9/02/2009 11:00:00 pm

Fighting

Posted by Tom French |

fighting.jpg

I hung out with some of the boys from Church last night. We went to the RSL, talked about manly things while drinking beer and then went to a movie. We went to see Fighting. I hadn't heard of the film till I saw it on the Greater Union session board. I figured with a name like Fighting it would be hard for the film to disappoint. (Unless it was about middle aged marriage breakdown, those movies are always depressing.)

The turned out to be about a guy who gets pulled into the underground bare-knuckle fighting scene. It's obviously cashing in on the UFC (Ultimate Fighting) craze sweeping American testosterone at the moment. It's the film that Never Back Down wanted to be but wasn't.

I was actually rather impressed. There were some solid performances from the leads. And the film seemed to be aware of subtlety (at least relative to most other films in it's genre). It had a restrained feel about it. The whole time I thought it was going to bust out into training montages, slow motion punches and girls in bikinis, to keep it's teenage male target audience happy, but it didn't. It held back. I appreciated that.

The film felt like Rocky if it had been made today. It wasn't as amazing as Rocky, but it had the messiness and some of the charm of Rocky. Often times people would have conversations that were a mess. Characters would fail to articulate their feelings properly, they'd neglect to tell each other information, they'd end up fighting and misunderstanding each other. It was nice. I didn't always know why they'd get angry at each other, but then again, we often don't quite know how we end up getting angry at each other either. Someone says something, the other person hears it wrong, and your both left to wonder what went wrong. I loved the inability of the characters to articulate what they needed to say. It felt real.

And to top it all off there was fighting. In fact the fighting was probably the most disappointing part of the film. It wasn't bad, but you missed a lot of the action because the film makers were obviously going for a more accessible rating. Still I did enjoying the fighting, I just wish I could have seen more of it.

So I reckon see Fighting. It's not going to change the world. But it's a solid little performer that's brave enough to do the youth, UFC film without resorting to hot girls and inane bad guys.

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