Director: Dito Montiel
Cast: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Zulay Henao
Watch Fighting online in the UK: Netflix UK / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
Guy sells fake DVDs, gets into street fighting, starts to win, faces off against big opponent, has to throw the fight… We’ve all been there, right? Dito Montiel’s Fighting might sound like pretty textbook stuff from its plot, but this is definitely above average, thanks to a clutch of quality performances.
It helps that Shawn MacArthur (Tatum) is such a sympathetic character, developing a believable bond with single mum Zulay (Henao) and his hustler-turned-manager, Harvey (Howard). In a breakout, star-making role, Channing Tatum leads this intimate ensemble, all of whom reek of sincerity; an essential element given the familiar genre trappings, from the rote childhood friend to the backstory involving his father.
Dito Montiel’s direction is spot-on throughout, bringing a sense of realism to the streets of New York. With his understated stars and well-choreographed punch-ups, Dito delivers a solid piece of cinema. The only let down is the script – following a familiar formula, the ending goes one punch too far with the schmaltz. A downbeat tale of dogged determination followed by a burst of The Waltons? It doesn’t sit well. But with its earnest and genuine heart, Fighting is a fine, if formulaic, film, and a hard-hitting showcase for Tatum as a talent to watch.
Fighting is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.
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