Monday, 5 December 2016

'Bleed For This' Review

Miles Teller is following in the footsteps of his 'Fant4stic' co-star Michael B Jordan by taking on the lead role in a boxing film. Thankfully for us, 'Bleed For This' is not like that film as Teller brings a great performance to his role based on the real life of boxer Vinny Pazienza.

Based on a true story. Vinny 'The Pazmanian Devil' Pazienza (Miles Teller) is an Italian-American boxer who is own top of the boxing world. Pazienza jumps up two weight divisions and ends up winning the world championship. Everything seems to be going great until a fatal car accident leaves him with a broken neck, with doctors unsure to whether or not he will walk again. Pazienza isn't one for giving up and he isn't going to start now. He convinces his coach Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) to start training him up again for one final fight.

Out of all sports, boxing seems to be the easiest and the most popular to transfer onto the big screen. There are countless movies based on the combat sport with both fictional and true stories being featured. Due to the amount of boxing films and the high quality that goes with them, it may be hard for some films to stand out from the rest. Unfortunately, for the most part, that seems to be the problem with 'Bleed For This'. The movie seems to be lacking that extra something to make it more than just a fine movie.

One of the main aspects with this has to do with the boxing action itself. Again, the action is fine but in recent years we have been exposed to the likes of 'Southpaw' and 'Creed' which have featured incredible action scenes. There has been an incredible, relentless, fast-paced action that has you on the edge of your seat, much like if you were watching a real life high-quality boxing match. 'Bleed For This' seems to be a lot slower paced with the action not being as engaging or heart pounding. In a boxing movie, incredible action can do a whole lot in improving the overall experience as it leaves you feeling pumped. Once leaving 'Bleed For This', you don't really have that rush about you.

What does help the film is its main storyline In many ways, the journey is the main part of the film and it is about Pazienza's courage and determination to make it back to the top. It is a truly remarkable film in the sense that the journey seems to be very cinematic. It seems that it wouldn't be possible for someone to be close to wheelchair bound for life to winning a world title in a combat sport, less than a year after suffering such a horrific injury. What makes this more remarkable is that it is based on a true story. Vinny Pazienza was a real boxer who suffered this injury and made one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. Some moments may be changed to make it more cinematic but of course, you would expect that. There is some heart within this journey as you see Pazienza as well as his family struggle with what has happened.

Miles Teller plays the extravagant and charismatic Vinny Pazienza in what is one of the most surprising roles of the year. I never thought of Teller being in a role like this but he sure did deliver. Pazienza is a very eccentric character and Teller does a fantastic job at showcasing his large personality. Once the tragedy strikes, he's believable in the sadder moments as Pazienza struggles. Teller captures how hard it is for athletes to be told they may not be able to do what they love anymore in some good emotional scenes. Aaron Eckhart plays Pazienza's coach he secretly starts to retrain the Italian-American boxer. Eckhart is the classic trainer as he is always by his fighters side whilst dealing with his own problems. Eckhart does well complimenting Teller and even brings some comedy moments to the film, especially with his dancing. The pair are the two standouts of the film, however, the film doesn't create that great a bond between them. Eckhart gives Teller's character opportunities but doesn't have those moments where you see a real bond developing. There's not really any progression throughout the film which was disappointing. 

There are moments throughout the film like this. The characters seem to stay the same as they were at the start apart from Pazienza. The only development in the film is Pazienza going through his injury. This seems to hold the film back at times ass nothing else major is happening at these periods of time. This does make a lot of the film fairly forgettable and one that you won't be thinking about this time next week. 'Bleed For This' is a fine film but there just isn't enough for it to stand out. There's better out there in this genre which would be a more worthwhile watch. 

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Bleed For This'? If so, what did you think of the film? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor