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on February 13, 2010
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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on January 14, 2010
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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on July 29, 2015
To be honest, wasn't sure I was going to like this movie. This was Channing Tatum right before he found success and the underdog story in the movie resounds soundly. He does a very good job, not only acting but in fighting as well. My only issue with this movie is ****WHOOPS, SPOILERS AHEAD**** the main or most important fight between Channing Tatum and his "enemy" seems a little outmatched. Played by Brian White, he outweighs Tatum by a good pound or two and, although not impossible, Tatum coming out on top seems a little far-fetched. But hey, what are movies for? Either way, I enjoyed it. Worth a look, I think. Side-note: I...love...Terrence...Howard...Seriously, he's amazing in just about anything he does.
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on August 6, 2012
Never thought a movie about bare knuckle fighting would hold my attention, but it did. The casting I felt was very well done. Everyone was very believable in their roll, even those individuals I was unfamiliar with. I found myself actually caring about these characters, and could very easily identify with their struggles to make a living...doing what you have to, but may not really want to in a city that thrives on money. I grew up in New York and receognized many of the street scenes that are so typical of the city. The Bronx scenes were a flash back to my childhood. Raw and hard core, you have to live there to understand the mind set of the inhabitants. This movie captured the culture and the sub-culture of hustling. I enjoyed this movie very much!
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on March 16, 2012
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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on February 17, 2013
The whole plot is to follow the perceived manipulations of a young man, desperate to do more with his life, so he fights for money. His handler is slick and seemingly nothing but greedy, but shows a caring spot for his "mark", the fighter. But, in the end, the young man everyone thought was being used cause he was inept, came out the winner and achieved what he wanted - a better life without the violence.
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on June 22, 2011
The movie is good, entertaining to watch on a sunday mornining.
Nothing particularly special(acting, direction, edition, photography, story), but it has very good fight scenes.

The quality of the image on this BluRay is very good but the SoundMix is awful.
I reviewed a BD named "Fair Game" (Doug Liman, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts) with the very same problem:
All the sound effects are too loud and the dialoge is too low; it's very hard to hear what people say in the movie.
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on April 29, 2014
I love a good fight movie and this one fits that bill. Channing is quite the fighter and being a dancer, he could really showcase the movement and intent.
Terrance Howard is great as the guy who has his own story and knows talent when he sees and knows how to play the game with big gamblers.
So far my favorite Channing Tatum movie.
Enjoy!
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on January 9, 2014
I watched the theatrical version of this movie (since this version is available on the DVD as an option) and found it to be very enjoyable. The characters were believable in terms of the roles that they portrayed and the story was interesting and easy to follow.
I especially liked the music that was played during each fight scene.
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on October 2, 2012
I happened to stumble upon this movie after watching 21 jumpstreet which also stars channing tatum. The plot to this movie was very well laid out and Terrence Howard does a good job portraying the agent. I was very pleased with the movie & plan on renting it again in the future if not buying it. It also stars Brian White (from Stomp the Yard) who also is an amazing actor.
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