Written by Ivan Radford
|Friday, 15 May 2009 22:31
Director: Dito Montiel
Cast: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Zulay Henao
White guy sells fake DVDs. Gets into street fighting. Starts to win. Faces off against big opponent. Has to throw the fight. It’s pretty textbook stuff, this, but this is definitely above average, thanks to a clutch of quality performances.
It helps that Shawn MacArthur (Tatum) is such a sympathetic character, developing a believable bond with single mum Zulay (Henao) and his hustler-turned-manager Harvey (Howard). Channing Tatum leads this intimate ensemble, all of whom reek of sincerity; an essential element with such a predictable plot. Especially when his childhood rival is so bland, let alone the back story involving his father.
Dito Montiel’s direction is spot-on, bringing a sense of realism to the streets of New York. With his understated stars and well-choreographed punch-ups, Dito delivers a solid piece of cinema. The only let down is the script – following a familiar formula, the ending goes too far with the schmaltz. A downbeat tale of dogged determination followed by a burst of The Waltons? It doesn’t sit well.
Earnest and genuine, Fighting is a fine but formulaic film.