Fighting (2009)

Posted in Reviews by - March 18, 2018
Fighting (2009)

Predictable urban sports drama centring on the murky world of underground street fighting. Shawn (Channing Tatum) is the doe-eyed hustler with a heart; a disgraced, college-educated wrestler with daddy issues who looks great in a vest. Harvey (Terrence Howard) is a streetwise, well-connected wheeler-dealer who channels Shawn’s pent-up male aggression into a commercially lucrative opportunity on the amateur fight circuit. He quickly gains notoriety brawling with New York’s diverse communities in dark alleyways, nightclubs and around the back of convenience stores, before an inevitable conclusion with an old rival. All the characters conform to their prescribed ethnic stereotypes and the premise offers little in the way of surprises, other than a nod to the mainstream popularity of mixed martial arts, supported by a brief appearance from former UFC fighter Cung Le. But this is actually much more convincing as a character study than a straight-forward MMA genre film, so anyone expecting Never Back Down will be disappointed.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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