Rama is back.
The problem with BLEED FOR THIS is that the true story behind it is way more fascinating than the film itself which unfortunately doesn’t get to be anything more than mundane. After having seen countless other comeback underdog themed films in the past, BLEED FOR THIS just seems so uninspired.
Miles Teller plays Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a boxer who shot to stardom after winning 2 world title fights. He’s at the top of his game. But a near fatal car crash leaves him with spinal injury so bad the doctors think he may never walk again. But with the help of stubbornness and his trainer, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), Vinny proves everybody wrong and not only does he get to walk again, he ultimately returns to the ring and reclaims his title belt. It’s been deemed as one of the most incredible comebacks in sports history.
As I said earlier, the true story of Vinny and how he defied all odds is fascinating, I mean the guy actually had metals screwed in to his head and shoulders, the damage would make even people with faith be skeptical of Vinny’s recovery. So the fact that he ended up boxing again was nothing short of a miracle. But the film unfortunately is too textbook, there’s nothing authentic about writer/director Ben Younger’s approach, even the way it presents some of the characters’ personal demons, they come across like some kind of caricatures. Which is a shame because I commend Younger for taking a risk on the guy who usually plays the funny friend (“Footloose,” “Divergent”) and was part of that horrible “Fantastic Four” reboot, Miles Teller. I think gambling on Teller was the right move on Younger, Teller in my opinion does his job, maybe not to the extent that De Niro did his in “Raging Bull,” but Teller provides a much needed intensity. The kid’s got talent. I can’t say the same for the rest of the actors around him that are too busy trying to look and talk and walk like they’re local Providence. BLEED FOR THIS is what happens when a script plays it too much by the book and plays it safe, what you get is a film that doesn’t move you; a film that lacks imagination and excitement.
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