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(Review originally written at 16 February 2006)

This biographic movie about Muhammad Ali is a solidly made but also flawed one.

Biggest problem with the movie is its storytelling. Everything is happening way too fast, the one moment he is getting married and only a few moments later in the movie he is divorced and remarried again. This all happens in a time span of just some minutes. The movie tries to cover too much story and tries to tell too much in a too short amount of time. Also too many characters are introduced in the movie who ultimately don't play a significant enough role in the rest of the movie. Guess that is what happens when you almost completely re-write a already finished script. Also after watching this movie I don't really have the feeling that I now know who Muhammad Ali was and what drove him to do the things the way he did. Basically the movie is only about his boxing-career and although the movie focus on lots of other things the main essence always lies on the boxing. It never is explained in the movie why Ali boxed and there is very little told about his background and youth. Basically all I learned from this movie about Muhammad Ali was that he has a great sense of humor and was a real ladies-person.

Still it's a solid enough movie. The movie is perfectly directed by Michael Mann who gives the movie lots of class and style. The movie has written Michael Mann all over it and that's a good thing to say.

There also is nothing wrong with the acting. Will Smith might look that much alike Muhammad Ali but he plays so convincing that he becomes believable in his role. Also the almost unrecognizable Jon Voight was more than great in his role. Both actors received an Oscar nod for their role. Also really impressive was Jamie Foxx in a much smaller role.

It's a very nicely made movie that absolutely is worth watching and is enjoyable enough, despite it's long running time. Still, if you want to learn more about Muhammad Ali, you most definitely are better of watching a good documentary about his life and/or career.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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