Friday, 9 December 2016

REVIEW - BLEED FOR THIS (BEN YOUNGER)


I don't even like boxing movies. It's not much use having a bias against any particular genre of movie when you put so much time and effort into studying the global industry, but it's a fairly constant feature of the boxing movie that it just doesn't work for me. There are exceptions, naturally, to this rule, but they're exceptions for a reason - they don't slavishly adhere to the restrictive, regressive cliches upon which this genre considers itself so necessarily, bafflingly reliant. So sure, I gave Bleed for This a go, all in the pursuit of 'study.' It's about a white, heterosexual, male douchebag who suffers a debilitating setback in his career and must engage in the struggle of his life to reacquire the phenomenal success to which he considers himself entitled, only now with a newfound mental fortitude to equal his physical fortitude. More like the struggle of my life. You see now why I don't like boxing movies? Much of Bleed for This seems designed around opportunities for Miles Teller to get his body out, which is just as well because it distracts from his face. Aaron Eckhart shows up with a side-full of ham and a shirt-full of cushion - seriously, if Martin Lawrence can get the fat suit thing right, Aaron Eckhart must surely be capable of something better than The Amazing Immovable Torso and a generous dusting of turmeric to make his receding hairline look plausible (it doesn't, obviously, but I bet he smelt delicious). The most spoken single word of dialogue in the film is 'Providence,' presumably in an attempt to excuse the Boston stereotypes by making them Providence stereotypes instead, which is a bit like distinguishing between Diet Coke and watered-down dirt - they have different names, but are they actually different things? The best thing about Bleed for This is when George Michael's song 'Monkey' crops up on the soundtrack; the worst thing is that it crops up as though the sound extrudes from a stripper's vagina. Bleed for this indeed.