It seems that the film year isn’t ever quite complete until we get another boxing biopic. These types of film are generally fairly formulaic and at times even the thought of another one can become tiresome. Despite this, recently we’ve been treated to some pretty great boxing movies. Both ‘Southpaw’ and ‘Creed’ have brought us fictional boxing tales which packed a very entertaining punch. Could this successful run continue with Vinny Paz biopic, ‘Bleed For This’?
Much to my surprise I’m pleased to say that it does. The narrative here, whilst at first seeming quite by the numbers, actually contains an element which gives the usual boxing story a fresh slant. After watching ‘Bleed For This’ I can certainly appreciate why the story of Vinny Paz has been made into a film and the entertaining results only warrant this further. The tone of the film is really well dealt with always achieving the perfect balance of humour, drama and emotion. It wouldn’t really be a boxing movie if there weren’t some cliches though; the drunk coach, the championing of the underdog and the training montage. Whilst these are all present, none of them are overdone so their inclusion isn’t a problem at all. This is largely due to the real life story that is being told here and it’s positive impact on the audience’s entertainment.
One of my main reservations about the film was Miles Teller. I really like the actor and think he’s very talented but I just didn’t think I would buy him as a boxer. How wrong was I, Teller has been pumping some serious iron in the gym for this role and has clearly received some great training resulting in easily his career best performance second only to ‘Whiplash’. What was so brilliant about this movie was that it wasn’t just Teller and his performance that had to carry the film, the rest of the cast are really impressive too. Aaron Eckhart plays trainer, Kevin Rooney and was his best since ‘The Dark Knight’. The rest of Teller’s on screen family are also really effective in the film having effortlessly believable chemistry and making for some thoroughly entertaining supporting characters. When you have a cast as good as this the smaller flaws like some minor continuity errors, the only issue I had with the film, really don’t matter.
Who knew that Miles Teller had it in him to deliver such an entertaining and believable boxing biopic? ‘Bleed For This’ succeeds in telling this true story, thanks I’m sure to Vinny Paz himself who receives a writing credit, in a very enjoyable way. The strong cast, likeable characters and unique slant on the standard boxing film formula all mean that ‘Creed’ might have a fight on it’s hands for best boxing movie of the year.
Rating – 8.5/10
Question: What is your all time favourite boxing movie?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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