Fighting (Unrated) – DVD Review
By Jeff Swindoll Aug 25, 2009, 13:04 GMT
Small-town boy Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Public Enemies) knows firsthand that every day in New York City is a struggle to survive. So when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard, Iron Man, Hustle and Flow) gives him a chance to be something more in the brutal underground world of bare-knuckle street-fighting, Shawn decides that he has something worth fighting for and puts everything on ...more
Channing Tatum takes some time from serving with G.I. Joe to do some street fighting. Fighting is a predictable tale, but it does entertain.
Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) is selling knockoff goods on the streets of New York City. He’s attacked by some thugs that work for Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard). Harvey’s a Fagin that runs kids to scalp tickets for him. He also has a side business in the fight trade.
When Shawn beats up his kids, Harvey likes what he sees. When the punks attacked and tore up his merchandise, Shawn was trying selling an obviously fake Harry Potter book to Zulay (Zulay Henao) - who he will meet again later and strike up a romance.
When Shawn sees Harvey at a restaurant, he confronts him and gets his money back. Harvey follows him and suggests that he get into the “ring” to earn more money. Harvey sets up fights with his rivals Martinez (Luis Guzman) and Jack (Martin Guenveur Smith). Soon Shawn is a rising star in the fight club but his naïve, trusting attitude might get him into more trouble than he imagined.
Fighting is about kicking ass in the back alleys of New York. There’s a definite big city feel to things as little town boy MacArthur gets eaten by the Big Apple. He seems so naïve and polite that it’s no wonder he’s hocking worthless garbage on streets of the City that Never Sleeps. He’s on the run from his personal demons and his pride doesn’t allow him to confront them. There’s even an old rivalry that develops into the final showdown.
He develops a crush on Zulay and this sweet romance seems a bit out of place in a film concerned with showing brawls.
Harvey is a smalltime hustler hoping to cash in on the big time with his newfound fighter. Of course, complications develop between his new recruit and himself with Zulay in the middle.
Fighting’s pedigree is from many such stories that have come before it. It owes a debt of gratitude to Rocky, Walter Hill’s Hard Times, and host of other films. If you’re into the fight game, there are plenty of opportunities to see two guys pummel each other. The film hits all the highlights of this type of plot.
Tatum is a somewhat wishy washy hero and his puppy dog romance did feel out of place. He does do a decent acting job when he has to. Terrence Howard makes a good whore with a heart of gold in his role as the seemingly devious manager. Zulay Henao is a beauty worth fighting over though.
The story feels a bit familiar, but it is well made and does manage to entertain (though you know where the plot is going). You get both the theatrical cut and an unrated cut with 3 minutes more violence.
Fighting is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions. Special features amount to 8 minutes of deleted scenes.
Fighting isn’t particularly original, but it does feature a New York flavor. The acting is decent enough and there are some good fights to watch. You might not want to put your entire purse on it, but it might entertain if you’re in the mood to watch guys hit one another.