Posted Dec 02 2016
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Bleed For This - The Movie Never Hits Rocks

Dir: Ben Younger

Starring Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ciaran Hines

Ben Younger’s true-life boxing drama tells a remarkable story in a fairly perfunctory way. Teller is on strong form as Vinny Pazienza, a world champion boxer who broke his neck in a car crash, only to rebuild himself to fight again and reclaim his place in the fight world.

It’s not so much that Younger’s movie embraces the clichés of the genre, it’s really that in starting with a somewhat original and inspiring true story, he does nothing to avoid them. With recent ventures such as Creed and Southpaw fresh in the mind, Bleed For This would need to produce something special to be declared a winner, even on points. It has good work from Teller and Eckhart as his trainer Kevin Rooney, and strong support from an unrecognisable Ciaran Hinds as Vinny’s extremely Italian father.

But, a spectacular car crash aside, everything here feels more familiar than it should, from the inevitable Rocky-esque climactic fight, to the constant cutaways to Pazienza’s all-female family watching on TV which just screams “The Fighter.”

Yes, it’s entertaining, as almost all against the odds sports movies tend to be. But there’s nothing here we haven’t seen before. And too much we have.

 

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