Starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard. Directed by Dito Montiel.
Rated M (violence). 105 mins

The title tells it.  The fighting is bareknuckle confrontations that draw city crowds to clandestine locations with huge bets made.  There is some background story but it is familiar material:  the young man who is down on his luck, the promotor who becomes an alternate father-figure, the chance encounter with a girl (a single mother) who has some secrets, the rivalry with an opponent from college days, home resentments, build-up to a tough bout and some twists about money.  If that appeals, then Fighting is your film.  If not, not.

Writer Dito Monteil made an autobiographical film about growing up in Queens, New York City in the 1980s, A Guide to Recognising Your Saints.  He obviously knows the tougher sides of the city.  He makes Manhattan something of a character in this film.  The performers are Channing Tatum who makes the central character credible enough as a person and as a fighter.  The promoter is played by Terrence Howard in a typical performance.  There are assorted bookmakers, gangsters and a scene stealing Hispanic grandmother who has definite ideas about everything.

More moderate than it might have been.

Out 27 August 2009

Fr Peter Malone MSC directs the film desk of SIGNIS: the World Association of Catholic Communicators, and is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.

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