After I had seen the movie “Grudge Match” with Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone, I promised myself “no more boxing movies.” I broke that promise today by viewing the movie “A Fighting Man,” and this morning I can tell you that I am glad I broke my self-knock-down ruling.
The unfolding of “A Fighting Man” is told using a unique concept where the story of the two men in the ring is examined between rounds 5-10. Sailor O’Conner (Dominic Purcell), an actor who resembles Sylvester Stallone minus the 100 face lifts, is a retired 40ish old school boxer, whose only claim to fame is that he has never been knocked down. After taking too many beatings, he decides to call it quits and takes a job in a steel mill. Sailor has a problem though: His mother, who has lost all of her faith in the Catholic Church, would like to visit Ireland one more time before she dies from cancer. To remedy the money problem, Sailor takes on one more fight with the encouragement of a sleazy fight promoter (Adam Beach), and the backing of his old trainer (James Caan).
On the other side of the ring we have the young 20-something King Solomon, a promising prospect that is throwing his future away on drugs, porn movies, and a miserable addicted mother. King has something too look forward to though: He has just married and has a young one on the way. King approaches his old trainer (Louis Gossett Jr.) and pleads with him to give him one more chance in the ring, to which he hesitantly agrees.
Between each round, side stories are told which include a mysterious woman (Famke Janssen); a priest (Kim Coates –Sons of Anarchy); King’s wife Pet (Jenessa Grant); and Sailor’s mother (Sheila McCarthy).
The biggest surprise is that the movie is entertaining; but that is not say there is not a lot of blood and guts flying around ─ after all it is a fight movie. I recommend the film.
My Rating: 3 of 5 Knockdowns.