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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised me
Fight films are not my thing. They have been done and done and done. I mostly watched this film because I just saw Channing Tatum in the Eagle (first time ever for this actor) and thought he did well but was curious to see how he might do in a film with some dramatic potential. He did just fine in Fighting in my opinion and showed much more range (because more range was...
Published on March 16, 2012 by PJR

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Tries Hard
This is generally not my kind of movie, but I did like it as it had kind of a Rocky element going. I also thought the actors gave sincere performances and the story was gritty enough to keep your attention - I get bored easily. As I watched it, I really felt this movie had a lot of potential to be great but because it was kind of rushed, it couldn't quite get there. If...
Published on February 13, 2010 by J. Yee


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Tries Hard, February 13, 2010
By 
J. Yee (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
This is generally not my kind of movie, but I did like it as it had kind of a Rocky element going. I also thought the actors gave sincere performances and the story was gritty enough to keep your attention - I get bored easily. As I watched it, I really felt this movie had a lot of potential to be great but because it was kind of rushed, it couldn't quite get there. If it could have taken a little more time to develop the characters and their relationships, it might have gotten there. I know that Channing Tatum is always criticized for his non acting ability, but if you really watch this movie, you can sense his potential, there were several times that you got a sincere sense from him that his character really wanted to do the right thing and Tatum does this more with expression than words. The only other thing that I feel could have been better was the connection between Shawn and Zulay, I just didn't get a sense of actual attraction, it really seemed kind of forced, like there was no choice. Obviously not one of the best movies of 2009 but certainly one of the better ones. I hope you enjoy it.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fighting deserves a fighting chance..., January 14, 2010
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
The main problem with a film like 'Fighting' is the expectations that come with the obvious - fighting, or fight sequences. Although the movie centers on fighting, it seems like attention was spent elsewhere. In other words, the filmmakers did not conceptualize intricate fight sequences that would leave Bruce Lee breathless. On the contrary, the fights here are very low brow, meat and potatoes, bare knuckle, anything goes kind of brawl, which I'm not opposed to whatsoever. Personally, every now and again, the over-orchestrating of fight sequences can be a bit too much for me, but the minimal aspects here lend quite nicely to the main character's plight to survive.

As you've probably read the other reviews, the story surrounds the nicest small-time drifter once could ever hope to meet (quite a stretch I may add). He holds doors for strangers, pays fair prices for goods and aside from the funky smell & shabby clothes, you'd be proud to bring him home to mother for Thanksgiving dinner. Although money is the object of his desire, he struggles to keep the only thing he's got going for himself - his pride. Something from his past that has made him run but must soon face head on. Howard stars as a small time conman with connections but in his older age, he represents the road Tatum could be headed. He takes him under his wing, primarily for the potential of making plenty of dough but soon realizes that a life without dignity isn't worth much. For example, to Howard, throwing a fight seems like smart business-making but for Tatum it means letting go of your most fundamental values as a person.

I enjoyed the movie for what it was worth although I could clearly see the potential for a deeper, more soulful searching between the characters. Although it failed to deliver the latter, it was consistently paced well. If you have some time to kill, not expecting to see anything remotely close to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, you like Terrence Howard or Channing Tatum (or dare I say like both of them), have washed your hair twice in one evening already and finished that 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, then do give this a watch. I have seen better but I have definitely endured worse.

On a minor note, I believe someone mentioned the love interest's mother as cliché'; I definitely agree although it was indeed her grandma, not her mom.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised me, March 16, 2012
By 
PJR (Minneapolis, Minnesota United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
Fight films are not my thing. They have been done and done and done. I mostly watched this film because I just saw Channing Tatum in the Eagle (first time ever for this actor) and thought he did well but was curious to see how he might do in a film with some dramatic potential. He did just fine in Fighting in my opinion and showed much more range (because more range was called for) than in the Eagle. I think he has charisma and a lot of potential for good roles in the future.

What surprised me was how good the script was in Fighting and how fresh the acting was of some of the supporting actors. This was more like an indy film than a regular Hollywood or Hong Kong fight film. I especially liked the supporting actor who was a very engaging character.

The dialogue was not lofty, but it was realistic and "authentic" and thus atmospheric. All in all Fighting was a refreshing break from the usual fight films and for me at least, a "real film about people" and not just genre. Of course in this respect it may be very disappointing for viewers who want genre films that compete to top each other.

I will say on the negative side that Tatum was hyped in the film as a fighting white college student, yet he did not fit any stereotype of a college student. This bothered some reviewers and I must say I had to work to remember that a lot of college students in real life actually do not come across as any more sophisticated in manners or speech than he does. He comes across almost as sort of a bumkin, though with some good sense. This is not truly unrealistic, but it is not close to a stereotype of college students in a serious film. So I won't fault it for this. I watched the Blu Ray and it had minimal extras. Only one deleted scene added much.

Well photographed film, and I really liked the portrayal of New York.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst of Channing, September 2, 2013
By 
Jill Zak (Detroit, MI USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
This was the worst movie I've seen with Channing Tatum. I was very disappointed. But, for the record he has made a lot of good ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Acting not required, May 29, 2013
This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
The plot moves slowly due to the fact that there is little acting. What acting there is, is weak. With the exception of Terence Howard's portrayal as a hard-luck loser, the producers should've just chucked this movie or found better quality low paid actors. Don't waste your time if you actually like fight movies of quality. Fight Club is, IMHO, the ultimate. The fighting Edward Norton did in his solo scene is far superior to ANY fight scene in this. Straight to dvd? No surprise. Seriously. -.-
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good., but unrated doesn't help it., November 16, 2010
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
This movie's story is a little confusing at first, but as you watch it through you will be like oh...so thats why hes fighting. I have to note out of nowhere Harvey says "Do you like to fight?" Ok just a little bit like other people say this movie's title seems like it replaced another one. In the story with the character Zulay, Shawn apparently kept his head that direction until he finds out a little secret. I really thought he would see her again. The unrated version now only adds an extra 3 minutes to the movie. I didn't see much new things to it. Instead I thought it should be called the extended version not unrated. There were 5 fights including the little intro. Like I said there could be more fighting to earn that title. Now let me say the acting is great. I really like Terrence Howard being in the film. He plays a great role as a scam artist. Channing and Zulay also have good roles. The comedy mostly came from some of Harvey's friends and Zulay's mom, or grandma I think it is. The soundtrack also kept me interested into it and even though I have a weird feeling like something is missing I really do think its an awesome movie. It kinda reminds of movies like 8 mile, you got serve, and stomp the yard (I really don't know why). There should be a sequel and with more fighting.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Formulaic Plot and the "Fighting" Doesn't Really Soar..., August 26, 2009
By 
Woopak "The THRILL" (Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
Movies about the shady world of underground fighting and gambling have been done to death; director/writer Dito Montiel's "FIGHTING" is another entry into this overused genre. Ok, so what made me sit through this film? Well, I am a sucker for fight sequences and I do believe that such a stereotypical movie can shine when the fight scenes themselves take center stage. Channing Tatum may not be the best actor for the role and admittedly the man isn't known for his acting skills, but he does 'look' the role of the underdog; that, combined with the fact that Montiel brings a lively feel and look of a contemporary New York City--oh, I also like watching fight scenes.

Shawn McArthur (Channing Tatum) hails from Birmingham, Alabama who comes to the Big Apple to make a living selling bootleg books, CDs and DVDs. Shawn is desperate to make a big score and when he crosses paths with a more experienced hustler in the person of Harvey Broaden (Terrence Howard) after a fight with his associates, Shawn gets recruited to participate in bare knuckle fights for some major money. Somewhere along the way, Shawn meets up with Evan Hailey (Brian White); a man from his past who supposedly trained with him in his father's wrestling school. Shawn is determined to make the big score; whatever it takes...

The film's premise is undoubtedly unimaginative and completely routine. While Montiel does bring try to bring a lively atmosphere in this world of shady characters composed of hustlers, gamblers and underground fighters in New York's shadowy corners, he has so little cards in his hands. Sure, he does bring the sights of New York in the composition as with "Saints", but the characters in this film are pretty stereotypical and feel like mere caricatures of what they may (should) have been. It is full of shady, intimidating dark figures that are in it for greed and angry heroes with issues complete with `macho-posturing'. It borrows heavily from elements established by "Lionheart" and the 1975 classic "Hard Times".

Montiel attempts to bring the relationship between Harvey and Shawn into bear but he is severely hampered by the screenplay that offers little to no surprises. The problem is that the film telegraphs its punches way too soon, and it misses several opportunities; the subplot with Shawn's father is never given any room to develop and the rivalry between Evan and Shawn isn't fully utilized--they felt like they were just using the usual practices of machismo. The only good character that adds some twist is in the person of Zulay (Zulay Henao) who plays Shawn's love interest. The script tries to promote a moody, realistic and seedy feel, and while it does on some level, it just couldn't capitalize on what its got.

Ok, so this film isn't going to win any Oscars, but a film like this can stay aloft when the fights are brutal and fresh. Well, Montiel does give the fights a somewhat realistic feel, they are messy and in this unrated cut, a bit more violent and longer (with 2 minutes of added footage). They are shot in a manner that keeps the action close, playing on the facial expressions of the fighters to express emotion. Some of the fights did manage to provoke my interest, as they became harder with more seasoned opponents but I thought the movie could've used more fights to serve in its build up and to invest on Shawn's reputation in the fighting arena. Also, I thought Shawn's fight with the Asian fighter was the best one. Still, being an action junkie, I have seen a lot of superb fight scenes; beautifully choreographed as well as simple realistic ones--the fights in "Fighting" offers nothing fresh and are just OK. But for a film that should focus on the brutal encounters, "OK" just doesn't cut it. It left me nothing to look forward to, and I could just predict on how everything would turn out.

The acting is a mixed bag. Tatum is a good-looking actor, (or so my lady friends say) but his skills as a performer is mediocre at best. There is a subway training scene that gives his character some intensity but we've all seen it better. The chemistry between Howard and Tatum feels forced as all it seemed that the two shared are stares and a contest of who gets to mumble more effectively. Zulay Henao (I love that first name) is charming and very attractive; her love scenes with Tatum are filled with the usual `holding hands' during love making. The idea of the twist as to what her relationship with Harvey had promise but it made no impact on its narrative. Evan Hailey (played by White) felt too averaged as the main antagonist and acts more like a high school bully than a fighter with a fearsome record.

"Fighting" should have been grittier and more violent to achieve the character's depth as an underdog and for the hero's fortitude to be felt. The film's screenplay tries but never quite reaches its goal because of its weak script; you can just feel that it went on its journey but it never reached its destination. "Fighting" is just a bare-knuckled flick that would not inflict damage to other films in this genre. Overall, "Fighting" is a just a mediocre urban melodrama.

Rent it! [2 Stars]
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I was entertained..., July 19, 2009
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
If you are looking for a gritty docu-drama about steet fighting...this is not it. However, if you want an uplifting story with some good acting and a few fights thrown in... Welcome! I gave it four stars out of five for its entertaining value, rather then the artistic achievement (for that it would have been two stars only).

Based on the title, I expected roughly 90 minutes filled with an assortment of muscle bound men who tried to kill one another in creative ways (and what's better to relieve the stress of a long day in the office?). Instead, what followed was a charming story about an underdog who wins in the end, and, of course, gets the girl. The story is not new. And yet, such is man's hunger for the uplifting value of the tale, that we continue to crave it, and I'm sure will do so for millennia to come.

The strong point of the film were its lead performances, particularly that of Terrence Howard's as Harvey, the hero's street wise, but vulnerable and down on his luck, handler. The hero, Channing Tatum (Shawn the Street Fighter), should have worked harder pre-movie to build a believable street fighter physique. As he was, one had to engage the suspension of disbelief quite frequently in order to "buy" his supposed fighting prowess. In real life, anyone betting on him to win would have had to be either drunk, or his mother. However, what Tatum lacked in muscle power, he more then made up for with his charm. The chemistry between the three leads (with Zulay Henoy as...Zulay, the love interest) carried the story.

So, what was missing? Motives are always important to the viewer. But, it seemed the writers had spent very little time coming up with good ones. Extra few minutes of work on their part could have saved me from having to work extra hard on developing empathy for the hero (yes, I'm a lazy viewer; for $9.00 plus cost of popcorn and soda I want it handed to me). Secondly, the fight scenes could have been better. Aside from Tatum's toothpick appearance, I felt the visual potential and the high energy charge of a no holds barred match were never fully realized. Inexplicable, given the talent Hollywood seems to have on its beck and call these days. I felt the creators shortchanged themselves by not fully utilizing Tatum's opponents, mainly Yuri Foreman, a real life professional boxer, and Cung Le, a world class martial arts champion.

Overall though, I am pleased I saw "Fighting". I left the movie theater with a wistful smile on my face, glad that the good guy had prevailed once again...ready for another day in the office (where the good guys/gals don't always win...alas...).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Channing definitely picked the wrong movie, December 26, 2010
This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
This movie sucked badly. Channing's character came off as being kind of slow. His speech was really slow as if even before he even started fighting, he took one to many blows to the head. And he couldn't even fight. He only won his first fight by knocking a guys head into some kind of fountain. He couldn't even beat that big guy. Oh and don't get me started on the fight against the chinese guy; three time world champion Cung Le. Even without me knowing who Cung Le was I could see that Channing's character was no match for him. The only good scenes in this movie was when he fought Evan in the end and when they won all that money. Now that was a real fight.
So glad I waited until this came on cable, because had I'd went to see this at the movies I would have been pissed off. This movie is not even worthy of Channing or Terrance Howard. I can't believe someone actually made this movie as a supposed action movie and then named it "Fighting", it should have been called "Dreaming". Because the character in this movie must have been dreaming if he thought he was a good fighter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars action, action, action,, June 28, 2010
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This review is from: Fighting (DVD)
this movie is very good, with none stop action. buy this movie its real good. 5-star movie......
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Fighting [Blu-ray]
Fighting [Blu-ray] by Dito Montiel (Blu-ray - 2009)
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