New in Theaters Review: Fighting starring Channing Tatum and Terrence Howard

By - April 2009

fighting-movie-posterIs there illegal street fighting going on in New York City? Well I can’t answer that, but this past weekend brought us the movie “Fighting” starring Channing Tatum. In the movie Channing play’s Shawn MacArthur a street hustler who is down on his luck until he has an encounter with another street hustler named Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard) who sees potential in Shawn as his next fighter in the secret underground world of street fighting.

I went into this movie with hopes of seeing some good bare fist fighting matches. I left the theater wanting to start a fight with the ticket booth clerk who sold me my ticket. This movie was knocked down from the opening bell. It took place in New York, so I was familiar with a lot of the locations where the scenes were filmed. The problem, it wasn’t realistic. In one scene they staged a fight on 176th street in the Bronx, a place I know very well. In the scene the characters looked like they came out of an 80’s Michael Jackson video. Another scene which takes place in midtown Manhattan they show first a woman getting her purse snatched and the culprits running down into the subway, then about ten minutes later Shawn gets into an altercation in the same area and he too runs down the same subway steps. Now anyone who lives in New York knows, yes we do have our share of crime, but come on where were the cops? That train station which is located right across the street from Radio City Music Hall would not have been a criminals first choice of escape route. There would have definitely been police sent to the location. Ok now that I have the whole unbelievable NY thing out of the way, let me get to the actual movie itself.

This movie was trash and should have been thrown into a NYC garbage can. Channing Tatum seemed like he was acting for the first time, and his character was very boring. Terrence Howard’s character was so strange that I couldn’t figure out what he was trying to portray. I mean he was supposed to be from Chicago, and had dealt with the mean streets of New York as a hustler, but his speech was like that of a polite Cajun gentleman. The build up and anticipation before the fights were better than the actual fights. All of the opponents that Shawn had to fight looked like they should have easily beat him without any problem. I mean wasn’t this guy in a dance movie, why didn’t they have someone with a more menacing exterior to play the main character? The final fight of the movie was also greatly exaggerated. It took place on a pent house terrace. This is New York, someone would have definitely made a noise complaint. There was one bright moment in this movie. The love interest, Zulay (Zulay Henao) has a grandmother (Marilyn Raphael) whom she lives with. This lady was hilarious. She stole the movie if you ask me. It also seemed like this movie was sitting in limbo for a while. The whole soundtrack had songs from like 2 years ago, a good hint as to when it was first filmed and edited. I give this movie ½ of a punch out of 4 punches. If you ever saw “Lion Heart” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, change the reason the main character is fighting for and it’s the same movie. Plus for fighting action comparison alone, I would have given “Lion Heart” a 2 rating back then. Jean -Claude kicked ass back in the days.

The movie runs 1 hour and 45mins. It’s rated PG-13 for intense fight sequences, some sexuality and brief strong language. It was written by Robert Munic (II) and re-written and directed by Dito Montiel. It was produced by Misher Films. It was distributed Universal Pictures.

Life is a brutal fight, come out swinging. Ezo
Next movie: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

SHARE
Born in Harlem, raised in the Bronx. Chilled in Brooklyn, drove through Queens, and took a boat to Staten Island. A true New Yorker.
  • I wish I would have seen this BEFORE I saw the movie LOL. I thought it was just me but Terrence Howards speech was irking me it was like nails on a chalkboard. Then Shawn wasn’t even that good a fighter I mean come on all his opponents look like they been doing it for awhile and Shawn was real green. This movie should be called Watching Paint Dry because thats how I felt like I was sittin in on a acting class for freshman.