Bleed for This

"Good"

Bleed for This Review


This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of the audience, even if the film never quite breaks through the surface. A story of tenacious triumph in the face of seemingly impossible odds, it also offers Miles Teller a terrific against-type role as a beefy young boxer who simply won't take no for an answer. And the entire cast is just as surprising, adding textures to a movie that's a bit too straightforward for its own good.

This is the story of Vinny Pazienza (Teller), a young boxer who wins two world championships in two weight classes with the help of his father Angelo (Ciaran Hinds) and his trainer Kevin (Aaron Eckhart). Then at the top of his game, he breaks his neck in a car crash and is told he may never walk again, let alone fight. But Vinny is determined to remain the champ, so he returns to training, even though an injury could leave him permanently disabled. Kevin reluctantly agrees to train him, pushing him up into yet another weight class. And seeing the publicity possibilities, father-and-son promoters (Ted Levine and Jordan Gelber) set up a massive Vegas comeback match.

Writer-director Ben Younger shoots this with a steady authenticity, charging inexorably through the story in a way that echoes Vinny's singleminded determination. Along the way, there are strained relationships, a variety of physical and emotional obstacles, intense boxing matches and, of course, a few emotive training montage sequences. The story is so strong that the film can't help but be engaging and even rousing, even if there are very few shadings along the way. Vinny never seems to doubt himself at all, his family only barely objects to his potentially life-threatening decisions, and his opponents are clearly going down for the count.

Teller delivers a fierce performance that makes this bullheaded young man remarkably likeable and easy to cheer for. Eckhart is also excellent in an unrecognisable role as a balding, overweight alcoholic. As is Hinds as Vinny's thunderous Italian father and Katey Sagal as his emotive mother, although neither relationship is explored at all. Still, it's the facts of this story that make it utterly riveting, and the boxing scenes are assembled with an attention to detail that expertly mixes emotions with movie cliches. In other words, they work perfectly to keep the audience thrilled, offering a whiff of inspiration. It's just a shame that the film doesn't leave us with much to think about afterwards.

Watch the trailer for Bleed For This:



Bleed for This

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 18th November 2016

Distributed by: Open Road Films

Production compaines: Younger Than You, Verdi Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Noah Kraft, Pamela Thur, Emma Tillinger Koskof, Chad A. Verdi

Starring: as Vinny Pazienza, as Kevin Rooney, as Louise Pazienza, as Angelo Pazienza, as Lou Duva, as Ashley, Amanda Clayton as Doreen Pazienza, Sully Erna as Caesar's Blackjack Dealer, Tom DeNucci as Anthony, Gene Amoroso as Jon, Daniel Sauli as Heather, Tina Casciani as Caesar's Pit Boss, Gary Galone as Doreen's Friend, Kimberly Howe as Sport Reporter / Fight Attendee, Allie Marshall as VIP Supporter, Stephanie McIntyre as Charity, Liz Carey as Reporter at Weigh-In, Portland Helmich as Ring Girl, Julie Ann Dawson as Duran Ring Girl, Gia Skova as NBC Late Night Page, Dante Palminteri as Event Security, Mark Burzenski as Dan Duva, Jordan Gelber as Woman at Twin River, Tanja Melendez Lynch as Ringside VIP, Ashley Tramonte as Casino Gambler

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