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Tuesday
Apr212009

Fighting

A poor, but fearsome young lad living on the streets gains notoriety by working his way through an underground street fighting organization where the rules are simple: win the fight and win money, lose and go home with nothing. That just about sums up the imaginatively named Fighting. The premise is simple enough, but the end result is a catastrophe. The only fight you'll have in Fighting is the fight to stay awake.

The movie is like a NASCAR race. You spend two hours watching it move only to realize it's gone nowhere. It starts out with Channing Tatum's character selling fake products to unsuspecting buyers on the street, then fighting a few fights, and then the movie's over. Nothing happens throughout this painfully dull film. Just when you think there finally might be a conflict between characters, it wraps up and the credits begin to roll.

What's even more embarrassing is that it follows a rudimentary formula, rarely leaving the tried and true path of similar generic films, and still fails worse than many before it. Fighting is one of the worst films of the year thus far and the most unintentionally funny movie since Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

Granted, I'm not a fighting fan. I've never understood the fascination with watching men beat each other up, but I suppose fans of things like UFC will find something to like in this disaster. As for me, I need something more than a couple of decent fight scenes with an exciting punch or two thrown here and there.

And that is the film's biggest flaw. It plays up fighting as "cool" and it isn't. There are lots of questions you can pose here. What are the consequences of fighting in an underground street fight? What moral dilemmas would the average person deal with? But none of this is answered, or even brought up. It cares not about story or characters, but more on barbaric brawls, offering nothing in the way of intelligent deliberation.

The performances are just as terrible. Channing Tatum as the underground fighter talked like an idiot, pronouncing every "th" with a "d," as in "dis" and "dat." I guess that's so he would sound more "street," but he failed and instead sounded like a jackass. Terrence Howard is just as bad, if not worse. He's a good actor when in the right movies, but his performance here is horrendous. Apparently, if you're from Chicago, you're slow, because his accent sounded like someone who's been hit in the head a few times too many.

Fighting will appeal to the guys out there who think wearing a flat billed hat to the side with the 59fifty sticker still on it is cool. They'll eat it up. But you'd be hard pressed to find anyone with a modicum of intelligence walking out of this one thinking they've seen something of quality.

Fighting receives 0.5/5

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