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Bad storytelling and a lacking pace make this movie a rather weak and ultimately very forgettable one!

No need to dance around it; this movie is simply weak. It's never making an emotional impact with anything, which really is due to its story and the way it gets told in the movie.

The story in itself seems like a fairly simple and straightforward one but of course lots of story elements are added to it, that however never really click or work out as anything effective for the movie. The whole criminal subplot, the stuff involving the girl and her uncle, it just never works out too well. As a matter of fact, most of the stuff feels absolutely pointless and distracts far too much from the movie its main plot. It makes things even needlessly complicated and it makes the movie feel like a very messy at times.

It's all a bit hard to follow at times, not due to a clever or multi-layered script but due to how it all got written and told in the eventual movie. The movie is lacking a good setup and buildup to anything. You never really get behind the character's motivation in this one. It's therefore also really hard to ever care for any of the fight scenes in this movie. I don't really care, quite frankly, if the main character looses a cage fight, since I don't even really know why he's fighting and making a comeback, after spending 10 years in prison, in the first place. Money, to help another person out, seems to be the main motivation but is that really reason enough to get behind him? No, you need to like the guy as well and care for him. It doesn't even play its underdog cards that very well, since the main character is pretty much at the top of his game, from day one on already. There is never a doubt in your mind that he's going to end up victorious, every time he steps into the ring, or cage, or whatever.

Also the pacing ensure that this at all times feel like a lacking movie. It does not only let stuff just happen, it also lets stuff happen too fast. In the first five minutes, the main character is setup as a character, he then accidentally kills someone, he goes to jail, (apparantly for 10 years but there is no way you would guess that while just looking at the movie) he gets out of jail and starts picking up his life again. Now, this would have been fine if all of this was shown in a sort of montage but no, this is just how the movie its storytelling is, pretty much all throughout. It lets stuff just happen, in a far too fast and non-organic way.

You feel that this is the sort of movie that would have worked out better if it had a more realistic approach and tone to it. The "Warrior" treatment so to speak, in which you are able to get behind the characters because they seem like real persons, with real emotions and motivations and dealing with real life issues and problems as well. This movie however feature the sort of story and characters in it that make it seem like Hannibal, Face and the rest of the A-Team could show up at any moment, to get the main characters out of trouble and safe the day, once again.

Perhaps I'm sounding a bit too harsh, after all, I was never hating on this movie while watching it but there is simply absolutely no good reason why you should ever watch this movie. A poor story, weak storytelling, predictable developments and other formulaic elements. Don't even watch this movie expecting to get a good, uplifting or fun sports-movie. Trust me, I like sports-movie but this is one that I would never recommend watching, to anyone.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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