Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover for Fighting is pretty bland, with several different shots from the movie. Interestingly enough, the cover makes it seem like the movie is almost entirely about fighting, which it is, but it seems like the fights are short and occur only sporadically throughout the film, with long (sometimes too long) breaks in between. The cover suggests more action than I thin the movie delivers.
The menu is the classic Universal set-up, with live action on the right side of the screen and options on the left, over that now recognized black background. Again, nothing fancy, but at least they are consistent.
- Deleted Scenes – There are about 8 minutes of deleted scenes, which are odd and not at all missed. They did no add much and were rather dull.
- Unrated & Theatrical Versions – Fighting features both versions of the movie on one disc. You are given the choice at the beginning of the load screen to pick which one you want, but the main menu also gives you the option to revert to the other. The differences seem to be just additions to the fight scenes, and there is only a 3 or 4 minute difference between the two versions.
- BD-Live – The BD-Live section is basically just previews for other movies. Disappointing, since the other “extras” are so bare bones.
- D-Box Motion Enabled – This is a first for me, as I have not seen a D-Box motion enabled release before. I do not have a D-Box enabled home theater, but it is nice to see that new releases are starting to incorporate the technology.
- Digital Copy – The standard digital copy is included here on a second disc.
The Movie: 4/10
Fighting looked and sounded great when I learned that I would be reviewing it for Ascully. I was ready to review an action film, and when I heard that this was coming up, and that Terrence Howard was in it, I was excited. The reality was not quite what I wanted it to be, and in the end, Fighting was just an average movie that left me underwhelmed.
Fighting is about Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) who is a street hustler who is just too nice to make it on the streets of New York as a con man. Having said that, when a group of seasoned hustlers tries to take his money, Shawn ends up beating a few of them down, which catches the attention of Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard). Harvey and his teenage thugs take Shawn’s money after Shawn sells a bootleg Harry Potter book to a young mother Zulay, before all of them scatter as the police show up.
In one of the many turn of events that makes Fighting so hard to identify with, Shawn sees Harvey later that night in a restaurant, and ends up confronting the crew to get his money back. Harvey doesn’t put up a fight, and enlists Shawn to join him in an underground street fight club, with the enticement of making thousands of dollars with his fighting skills. Shawn, who has a history of fighting ans wrestling, and is broke and desolate, takes the smooth talking Harvey up on his offer and they embark as fighter and manager on a serious of low level fights that earns small amounts of cash for the crew.
Shawn also ends up running into Zulay again at a club, where she is a waitress (again with the random interactions.) He apologizes for ripping her off and asks her out, and as the movie progresses the two start a relationship. Oh, and while at the same club, Shawn runs into a long lost friend/nemesis from Alabama, who was a wrestler with Shawn, and was coached by his father. The two instantly have issues with each other, and Evan Hailey (Brian White) postures and threatens, and is obviously going to be the “final boss” in this movie, who Shawn is going to end up fighting.
The story pretty much follows the dots at this point, where Shawn progresses through the ranks of fighters until he ends up getting his shot at real money, in a fight against Evan Hailey. The love story also is pretty much set in stone, and the only real twist (if you can call it that) is the ending, which is also very predictable.
Fighting was not horrible, it just is not good. Channing Tatum is wooden, and it is nearly impossible to get behind him in the film until the end. Terrence Howard, who is an exceptional actor, at least plays a different kind of character here, and he is believable and solid in this movie. He is the only real glue that holds this together, but I have to say that while I loved his soft spoken character, it is almost as if his accent and demeanor at the beginning of the movie disappears by the end. It is as if he forgot to continue with his soft delivery, which to me was noticeable and annoying.
Overall Fighting was just a run of the mill movie about an underdog making it big, but it has been done before, and done better.
Audio & Video: 7/10
The audio for Fighting was pretty average, and it seemed to me like the bass and soundtrack overpowered the dialogue in many parts, including the scenes that were inside the noisy club. The fighting sequences were bass heavy and action packed, and the ambient sound of the streets of New York was good, but you can’t overshadow the dialogue, even in a movie like this. The surround sound was nicely used.
The video was beautiful. I was impressed with the clarity of most of the movie, and the cinematography was stunning. New York looked busy and gritty and alive, and the action sequences looked good. My only gripe was some of the aerial night shots, that seemed a bit out of step with the rest of the movie. The 1.85:1 1080p transfer is tight, and with the exception of the some of the low light scenes, it was stunning. The action sequences were well done, and the overall soft grittiness added to the feel of the movie, and was intentional.
Fighting was a nice looking movie without much story and without much to connect with. As a viewer I wanted to get behind some of the characters more than I did, so that I could root for them to make it, and the coldness of the acting mixed with the story left me uninvolved. There are just too many other movies like this that are better for me to think that someone would be content with purchasing this movie. If it was on TV in a few months, I don’t really think I would stop changing the channel on this one to be honest.
Overall Score 4/10