Customer Reviews: Undisputed
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on August 24, 2004
Okay, i first saw this movie on cable and since they keep showing it every couple of months, i've probably seen it a total of 4 times. And i have to say...I really like this movie. I'm not a boxing fan, nor am i a fan of prison movies, but there's something about watching Wesley Snipes' understated performance as Huchens that captures my attention. I also enjoyed the side characters (Falk as Mendy is hilarious) and it's their interaction with one another (Snipes and his sidekick and his cellmate...what's his name?... bad guy from Last Mohicans...oh yeah...Studi) that really make the movie. Needless to say, i don't want to wait for cable to show it again, i'm gonna buy the *^%$! DVD.
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HALL OF FAMEon April 26, 2003
This film is very straightforward. The scene is a prison, which has regular boxing matches between the inmates. Wesley Snipes, who is serving a life sentence, is the undisputed champion. And then Ving Rhames, the real world champion, is accused of rape in a very similar scenario to that of Mike Tyson. He's sentenced to the prison too. Naturally there is conflict as the two men lock horns.
There are no surprises in this film as it builds to its inevitable climax, with Peter Falk cast as a Mafioso inmate who arranges a boxing match inside the prison walls. The acting is uniformly good. And the script well written. That's about the most to be expected from this kind of film.
Frankly, I rather liked it. Maybe because it didn't try to be anything but what it was. Therefore I give it a mild recommendation.
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on May 2, 2004
Looking over several of the poor reviews is rather surprising, unless you hate the violence promoted by boxing. This is a really good boxing movie. You have a Mike Tyson-like character who winds up in prison duking it out with a modest hard lifer in a real prison with hundreds of real convicts for extras. It's interesting to watch from 2 perspectives, boxing itself and prison. However, it's definitely a movie for the guys.
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on January 18, 2004
"Undisputed" is a Walter Hill film, which means it's about well-drawn characters, simple premise, and machismo. Or especially the last thing. Here you see Wesley Snipes as 'Champ of the prison boxing' (for 10 years) Monroe Hutchen, and Ving Rhames as 'the real Champ' or George 'Iceman' Chambers, who is convicted for rape charge. But some say they don't need two champs, so they decide it by fighting.
So they fight, but not so soon. A veteran prisoner named Ripstein (excellent Peter Falk, spitting out so many F-words) steps in, who truly loves the art of boxing, and he wants them to fight there, in the prison in the middle of the desert. Surrounding the three main characters are Michael Rooker, Wes Studi, Jon Seda, Fisher Stevens, and Master P as special guest.
The story is so simple, but the point is not that part. If you are looking for "48 Hours" it's not here. Hill and co-writer David Glier opted for creating realistic characters instead of actions, so what you see first is not the names of the actors, but those of the characters. They do not talk much about themselves, unlike many films of the genre, but you get to know them through the dialogues, uttered by well-chosen actors who can really act.
"Undisputed" belongs to the genre (prison film); however, it never shows unnecessary digression in the short course of story, and Hill wants that way (see how Michael Rooker's character slyly refers to the genre itself). It is not about a hero and a villain, it's about men's pride and dignity, and on that score it succeeds.
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on August 23, 2004
A straightforward movie of the usual Hillbent-men who are men, but not undercomplicated, in situations that test them. Although it might be argued that the Snipes character is the "good guy", there really is no full on bad guy. Rather, you have a wonderful muddle of ambiguous characters. The sidekicks are interesting in that each seems better suited not for who he is paired up with, but for that opponent of that pairing. Though I recommend the film, I am reminded in watching it that Rhames is no actor; he offers the same flat I-must-be-cool approach to his roll in this film as he did in Pulp Fiction or Mission Impossible or Dark Blue.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 17, 2009
So, no, this isn't Jane Austen's UNDISPUTED. This is Walter Hill at the helm and he brings his own brand of taut urban grit to the film. UNDISPUTED is a prison drama, a boxing movie, and a character study. It's peopled by hardened characters you probably won't want to hang out with, except in the confines of cinema.

It's exciting times at the Sweetwater correctional facility, up in the Mojave Desert, and specifically for the California State Inter-Prison Boxing Program. George "Iceman" Chambers (Rhames), the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, just pulled a Mike Tyson and now comes to Sweetwater to serve out his sentence. The Iceman, new rooster in the crib, promptly learns that the prison system already boasts its own undisputed champeen, Monroe Hutchen (Snipes), a onetime ring prospect sentenced to life ten years ago, and without parole. Hutchen's boxing record also renders him undefeated. This doesn't sit too well with the Iceman, and dude is quick to challenge Hutchen for his place in the pecking order. Stoking the situation is a shambling old mobster, a bigtime boxing fan, who schemes to pit these two hard dudes against each other. And there's your movie.

Iceman wasn't that far wrong when he said that "People love a guy who can fight." I'm a diehard boxing fan, so UNDISPUTED caught my attention when it came out. UNDISPUTED is lean and economical; it doesn't waste time getting down to business. And I appreciate it not only for its intense character play but also for its occasional referencing of old school pugilists (Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Rocky Marciano, etc.). Walter Hill, director of some of my favorite action films (The Warriors (The Ultimate Director's Cut),48 Hours,Streets of Fire,Trespass), has a knack for drawing out the brawny fan joy in a guy. In UNDISPUTED, he gradually builds things up for the inevitable fighty fight. More of a drama, not a lot of sustained action, other than Iceman and Hutchen's respective matches at the start of the film (to establish their fighting creds) and then the big crunching bout at the end. In between is plenty of prison politics and mind games, posturing and quick bursts of aggresiveness, mostly perpetrated by the Iceman, all of which scenes are quite fascinating.

Wesley Snipes gets top billing but has the less showy role. Even though the introspective, solitary Monroe Hutchen is the prohibitive protagonist, he doesn't come across as the classic hero type. Recalling that Monroe Hutchen was convicted of murder, I guess we eye him as the protagonist mainly because he exudes a calm, nonaggresive demeanor and because he's seen as the underdog (the Iceman outweighs him by a bunch). Ving Rhames, early on tapped as the volatile big bad, actually gets more screen time than Snipes. I like that the Iceman isn't the typical dumb heavy; he demonstrates a certain cunning, as he negotiates with or unleashes violence on the Sweetwater denizens. The Iceman realizes that his fellow inmates continually look to test him. That he's so willing to start shiznit isn't as indicative of his innate brutality as much as it is a course of action he feels he has to take to survive in penitentiary. Rhames' two encounters with Snipes (the cafeteria and shower scenes) before the bout are memorable and fraught with tension.

So, yeah, a menacing Ving Rhames and a resolute Wesley Snipes drive the film. But there's a peppering of interesting supporting characters, with Fisher Stevens, Michael Rooker, and Jon Seda all getting chewy bit parts. But none of those are more colorful than Mendy Ripstein, that aged gangster convicted of tax evasion, played with wicked elan by Peter Falk. Allow me to inject my favorite quote from Falk's character: "#@%$!!" I've never seen the elderly cuss so much as Peter Falk. He drops so many F-bombs in one scene that I couldn't help crumbling with laughter. Not that I rub elbows with mobsters, but I thought Falk was quite convincing as an old wiseguy with clout. When the warden threatens to derail the upcoming bout, Ripstein tells his peeps: "You know the drill. You help him... or you hurt him" That's a cool line.

*** SPOILER in this paragraph *** If I remember my boxing urban legend correctly, rumor was that, years ago, the retired Sugar Ray Leonard was contemplating a comeback but first wanted to test himself. He fought a closed doors match with someone and got his whatsis soundly beaten. Naturally, Sugar Ray denies this ever happening. UNDISPUTED shares something of that flavor. Snipes and Rhames put on a good tussle, both in tremendous shape and athletic enough to pull off the boxing thing. Snipes himself trained with renowned boxing trainer Emanuel Steward in prep for this role. And, while Snipes may be underweight in this bout, you have to be totally new to movies if you can't pick out the winner. At the end, the undisputed champion is the one still reigning in stir, while the other fella gets released from prison and regains his heavyweight crown. Except that, nowadays, he's also busy killing this rumor about how he got his whatsis handed to him, that one time behind bars.
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on November 6, 2013
If you're hoping to see a tense, Wesley Snipes film here, you'll be disappointed. Although Mr. Snipes is tense when he's on the screen, he is NOT the star. This is a Ving Rhames flick and the guy does a credible job as a champion wrongly convicted and sent to a maxx prison and forced to establish himself as a tough criminal while at the same time continue his boxing career in the prison system's underground fight scene. The fights are passable, but it's the machinations of the various shady characters that steal the show. I say rent it!
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on December 4, 2012
As i said with the other two dvds i ordered, it makes me very happy to recieve my items quickly .My item has arrived in great condition and i want to say thanks for makeing it available for me to but.It is also along with other items i have purchased on amazon a gift, christmas gift for my son.So thank you so much
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on June 16, 2015
To put this into perspective, I don't like many movies much at all and usually pan them. I only watch movies because they are inexpensive (I got this one free) and I don't really pay close attention, they are on the TV while I work online. I would not have bet a dollar to a hundred dollars I would rate something like this as five stars. My only caveat is that you probably should be a boxing fan to start with.

Yes I am familiar with the stars but it was not until it was over and I saw the credits that I understood how this became a first rate exercise in drama and action. Directed by Walter Hill (Alien, The Warriors), music by the great Stanley Clarke. There isn't a boring moment, it does not rely on cheap sensationalism, it does not belabor stereotypes. It is very straightforward. Don't look for lessons or morals, it is not about that. There isn't anyone to cheer for. It is simply pure realism in the modern world. A few things are stretched a bit but the only thing that is really impossible is only in the last minute and basically an afterthought. Director Hill said that when he made "The Warriors" he envisioned it as a comic book story. Maybe the same here. It works.

Working from the premise that movies are made for people who like such kinds of movies, I see no reason to rate less than five stars.
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on December 3, 2002
I am a big fan of Ving Rhames and Wesley Snipes. I really think they both did a wonderful job in this movie. Ving Rhames is a powerful actor in every role and he did not miss a step in this movie. I like the way Wesley Snipes was a strong not loud character. The movie did not make you feel sorry for the two of them. It is just a story about two very different strong men who enter into a fight to get what they both want. It was a great movie that everyone should have went to see. The ending was great.
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