Rocky ranks in my top 25 films of all time and I have been a huge fan of boxing movies ever since I first saw The Champ and Goldie & the Boxer.
Fighting stars Step Up heartthrob Channing Tatum as Shawn MacArthur, a curbside grifter who ends up in one to many fights. But when big time grifter Harvey Boarden (Terence Howard) sees him fight off three guys he sees an opportunity to make some coin. So Howard introduces Tatum to the world of underground fighting where there are no rules. For every grudge match Tatum will get over $20,000 but only if he wins.
The movie gets more complicated when it is revealed the best fighter (Brian J. White) on the underground circuit has a dark secret connected to Shawn.
The movie feels like an extremely tame version of Van Damme flick called Lionheart. You have a washed up fighter who introduces the new kid to the circuit. The ending is even the same. The big difference between the two films are the fights. The fight in Fighting all over the place as the filmmakers tried to go for realism and a little UFC. But they aren’t exciting and very amateur. I mean, Never Back Down was a way better film. Skip this movie and rent Never Back Down. It’s a great guilty pleasure.
The film seems to focus more on the relationship between Shawn and Harvey than anything else. And you know when it comes down to it you are supposed to root for a guy you genuinely care about but half-way through the film we learn something about Shawn that just makes him an unsympathetic chump. By the time the final fight came I wanted him to get his ass kicked.
Another complaint I had was Tatum’s love interest. Do we really need her? What is the point? Other than to get Tatum’s shirt off betwen fights.
Tatum is pretty reliable as Shawn and the twist half way through does allow him to make his character stronger. Howard is also quite unmemorable in this film. He’s just there for a paycheck because he sleep walks through this movie.
I have just never seen a fight movie that wasnt exciting and I have seen all of Van Damme’s movies at least twice.
This is bad, why call it “Fighting” and just call it “Boring!”
1 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer