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from the LA Times


Channing Tatum

Phillip V. Caruso / Universal

Star brawler Shawn MacArthur takes out his latest opponent in the action movie “Fighting.”


Starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard, Dito Montiel’s tale of an underground fighting scene is vivid and loaded with detail.

By Michael OrdoñaApril 24, 2009

It’s called “Fighting,” and its unpolished, messy fracases are among the film’s highlights. But there’s much more to it than that: more than the easily sold idea of Channing Tatum as Shawn, a down-on-his-luck drifter, drawn by two-bit hustler Harvey (Terrence Howard) into New York’s underground fighting scene; more than Shawn’s romance with struggling single mother Zulay (Zulay Henao).

The word that best expresses the film is “vivid.”

It feels like a guided tour of the city’s in-your-face underbelly, loaded with detail that only a native with an artist’s eye could reveal. Director and co-writer Dito Montiel’s previous effort, Sundance sensation “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” (also starring Tatum), similarly depicted an unglamorous New York so real you could smell it — for better or worse. The casting of extras, location scouting and production design all display care not common to the genre.

As to the fighting in “Fighting” — it continues the exciting trend of realistic combat that helped make “Taken” a surprise hit, but it goes much further. Some throwdowns look and feel like street brawls, choreographed to look unchoreographed: ugly, rough and thrillingly unpredictable.

click to read complete review at the LA Times ]

Posted on April 24, 2009 by Editor

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