(Review originally written at 5 October 2008)

This is a pretty boring jail-boxing-flick (yah, what a word!) that features very little story, uninteresting main characters and a concept that focuses purely on the boxing aspects and forgets basically everything else.

There is one big problem with this movie; it's two main characters played by Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames. Both are boxing professionals who got convicted, one for murder, the other for rape. Seems like the Snipes character got somewhat based on Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter and the Rhames character obviously on Mike Tyson. But fact is that both are tough criminals, who obviously are no choir boys. They are not really portrayed in a likable way and you just don't know who to cheer for. My guess is that it was the movie its intension to make the Snipes character the more likable one but he's portrayed in an incredible unsympathetic way and quite honestly I would always rather hang out with Ving Rhames than with Wesley Snipes, no matter what crime he committed. The movie features of course other characters, of which some got portrayed by some good and well known actors (Peter Falk, Michael Rooker) but you just don't ever care about any of them and most also feel rather pointless within the movie.

So yes, the main characters are a problem but so is its story. Basically all the story does is build up to its inevitable end fight. It's makes the movie predictable but boring as well, since basically very little else is ever happening in the movie.

Walter Hill was once a new promising action movie director but with movies like this he shows that he sort of has lost his touch. It's a very clich├ęd made movie that features all of the ingredients you would expect from it. The already bad and uninteresting story gets also told in a bad and uninteresting way within the movie. He tries to give the movie some style and pace but it really doesn't work out too well.

Normally I'm still quite fond of boxing movies but this movie just has very little redeeming qualities. The movie just doesn't offer anything new or exciting to watch. The boxing matches within the movie aren't exactly anything adrenaline pumping, also because you already know in advance how they are all going to end.

Not really recommendable...


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About Frank Veenstra

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