(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Bleed for This may follow a typical formula, but the acting and the inspirational drama is good to watch, just don’t expect it to be another Rocky!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
When you talk about a rising star, you have to mention Miles Teller. I believe he has a pretty good resume, but he hasn’t reached greatness yet. The first movie I saw with him was the comedy 21 and Over and I enjoyed his comedic prowess, and I thought that was his schtick, comedy. It wasn’t until his role in the great movie, Whiplash, where he impressed me with his dramatic acting. Yes, he has done some terrible movies, like the recent Fantastic Four which I’m ready to say it never existed. I believe once he is done doing teen movies like Divergent, he will dive into some roles where an Oscar will be calling his name. He does have that potential for sure. After seeing the trailer for Bleed for This, I knew this will be his stepping stone to greatness in his acting. You really can’t go wrong with a titular role in a boxing movie, and he shows he does have what it takes. I wish him the best with his hard work and dedication in acting.
What I Like: What really made this movie was the acting. It all starts with Miles Teller as boxer, Vinny Pazienza. At the beginning he shows his cockiness and attitude with the New England accent and his fighting skills, but what I really enjoyed is his acting with the halo on, after his car accident. I thought he really nailed the role as a true person suffering with the Halo brace on to protect his neck, and his stubbornness to train to make a boxing comeback and defeat the odds. I also loved Aaron Eckhart as Vinny’s trainer, Kevin Rooney, as a respectable trainer who pushes Vinny to be the best he can. I thought the boxer to trainer chemistry was really good, and their sarcasm with each other was very funny. I also thought Vinny’s chemistry with his family was truly authentic. It was like a true New England Italian family with all the characteristics we expect. I really enjoyed seeing Vinny’s father, Angelo Pazienza played by Ciaran Hinds and how he always demands a presence no matter what. The acting, which also includes Katey Sagal as Vinny’s mother, really pushed the dramatic effect this film really needs and it was executed perfectly. It really made it enjoyable to watch.
The So So: The story is very formulaic. It is a typical comeback story. To be quite honest, the fact that it is a true story really boosted the story’s respectability. The fact that a person can go through a traumatic neck injury and is told he might not walk again, let alone fight, and not only does he do that, but he becomes a legend, really makes it remarkable and inspirational. Of course there were some tweaks from what happened in real life for story purposes but it is awesome to watch a story of resilience, work ethic and effort to be the best no matter what. With that said, don’t expect it to be the next Rocky, it is definitely not on that level.
What I Didn’t Like: The turning point of the story was the car accident, and I thought it was anticlimactic. The impact of the accident was very underwhelming mainly because it was practically quiet and didn’t even feel an impact. I thought that scene could’ve gone a lot better with more of a shock value. Lastly, the final fight where Vinny makes his comeback was so so. He was fighting legendary boxer Roberto Duran (the actor looked more like Duran than Edgar Ramirez in the film about Duran, Hands of Stone). The fact that Vinny won the fight really had my head scratching. I thought he would go the distance and lose, but him winning it really made it underwhelming for me. It would’ve made more sense to show what really happened where Vinny had other fights before Duran that helped him become stronger. A mistake by the writers in that department, and it made the film decent instead of good.
Overall: The film may be formulaic, but it’s still a good watch that packs some emotion about fighting adversity. For Miles Teller, he showed that this is just the beginning, and I don’t think he will get an Oscar nomination, but heads will turn soon in his favor. For now, you just have a decent movie that can fulfill your least expectations!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
(Sidenote: The Lobster- This dramatic film starring Colin Farrell is definitely a weird story. It is unique, but I really couldn’t pinpoint the main point of the story. It starts off intriguing once you get the gist of it, but the second half of the film just got a little boring for me. Let alone the strange music and acting really made me scratch my head in what the heck is going on. If you’re into unique weird movies, this may be a film for you to watch for sure!!!
Rating: 3 Stars)