Introduction, content and everything else....
After the last year success of the kid-brawling NEVER BACK DOWN at the US box office and also the good revenues on DVD, now the next rated PG fighting movie with related topic comes to the theatres. For all gentle action fans I only can strongly recommend: spare your money, better take a snack…a doner kebab or so….
Solely the beginning is already miserable: first shot New York subway. View on Shawn MacArthur (Tatum) directly presented as fine fellow: holding the door open for old ladies, simple-hearted regarding bag snatchers and has innocent lamb eyes in general. We don’t know why (and never will find out) but Shawn has no job and has to sell illegal copies of the latest Harry Potter book in the streets of Brooklyn to get at least some money. In the following five minutes Harvey Boarden (Howard) together with 3 addlebrained Sidekicks (their duty is also never explained) as well as the goddess of love Zulay Valez (Henao) are presented. And we experience that Shawn is a good runner like all real Irish. In the same period Boarden recognizes the potential of the cute Irish and persuades him to underground fighting where high bets are made. And Shawn, the Sheep, is at it immediately ….
Where NEVER BACK DOWN could passably entertain with a not really new but enjoyable plot – garnished with cued eye candies and flashing fights, FIGHTING fails in every respect. The biggest lack: The screen-play ! Beneath contempt. Not a bit of character drawing or depth, the dialogs trivial to uninspired, the actors stay unglamerous and are sold at a loss. I feel sorry for Terrence Howard, Oscar Nominee for his leading role in "Hustle & Flow" in 2005. Newcomer Channing Tatum – getting well-known with "Step Up", at last in the movies in the Big-Budget-Flicks "Public Enemies" and "G.I. Joe" – honestly makes an effort but can not save the day due to the accumulation of incredibility and cliches. As Love-Interest Zulay Henao bores (I don’t even know here!), as supporting role disguised extras Luis Guzmán and Roger Guenveur Smith are on parade. But what really put me over the edge are the amazingly rotten choreographed fights which can hardly be surpassed in terms of incredibility. Not only that all of the “Fighters” are sissies, who are knocked out with the slightest hit against the sink but also Shawn wins with wrestling moves! That’s true! In a display-case principle every opponent is presented a little “tougher” (giggling) until at the end the all-time champion Evan (Ex-Football-Pro Brian J. White) is also unspectacular beaten by some shoves. The relations between the single characters don’t work at all background information isn’t available or abstrusely thrown at the viewers feet. Conclusion: a proper nerd like a textbook example! That really pisses me off – got it?
It is a common usage in the United States to release the most movies rated PG to realize substantial gains. For the Home-Media-Market there is a promotionally effective advertising with the certification “Unrated” to make the gorehound’s mouth watering. But meanwhile most of the customers should have noticed that this is only a scam to squeeze the hard-earned money out of their pocket. Same here. Most of the difference of 2.5 minutes is for an unimportant sequence only extending the movie as well as some minimal violent cuts which do not catch anyone’s eye in the hectically filmed sections. Therefore it’s absolutely irrelevant which version someone finally chooses. Both equally well – or rotten, it depends. Compared have been the Theatrical Version (PG-13) with the Unrated Version, both on the recently released US DVD.
Shawn’s fight against the chinese guy. After he has thrown him onto the floor, the second hit which hardly can be seen anyway is missing after the first haymaker.
( 14 SF )
The take when Shawn chokes his opponent in a wrestling grip starts earlier in the unrated version.
( 2,5 sec. )
After Zulay googled for Shawn’s name with some results a complete sequence is missing. Harvey visits Zulay at the Club. When he gets in he first asks an employee: "Hey, you know where Zulay is?" He walks on finding Zulay at the bar. She: "What do you want to talk about?" Harvey turns towards her: "Isn't there something you should be telling me?" Zulay: "What are you talking about, Harvey?" He answers: "You're gona make me say it? Why didn't you tell me that you were sleeping with him? Why couldn't you tell me that?" Zulay: "'Cause I don't have to tell you everything. That's why." Harvey continues asking: "Now you want him paying your bills?" Zulay explains: "I did not ask him to pay my bills." Harvey interupting her: "Are you kidding me? You're bringing him around your daughter, you like him like that?" He calms down: "What, you think he's better than me, right?" Zulay tries to settle: "No, that's...." and is again interupted by Harvey: "You think, you're better than me that's why you fill his head with all this garbage. About riding off into the sunset, like this is a movie or something, huh?" She tries to leave but Harvey holds her: "No, no, come here I'm talking to you." Zulay tears herself away from him: "Don't touch me. Don't touch me. Stop it." Harvey excited: "I'm talking to you." He calms down again: "If he decides to up and leave you tomorrow, you think you're part of his plans? You think your daughter is?" Zulay resigns: "Maybe." Harvey insisting: "What about your grandmother?" Zulay counters: "You always that paranoid!" Harvey: "Yeah, that's what I am, I'm paranoid. I'm paranoid. And you still believe in fairy tales. But you think I'm paranoid, okay. Does he know how we met?" She lowers her eyes and Harvey reminds her: "You in the back seat, sleeping in your car, with your daughter in the front seat? Is that something to be paranoid about?" Harvey ends his speech: "Ok. You think that little thing right here between your legs is gonna make everything okay, don't you? That's what you think. Isn't it? You use that on him. Don't put no more garbage in his head." Then Harvey leaves Zulay looking after him.
( 142 sec. )
Evan has Shawn in a head-lock for some more single frames.
( 4 SF )
Again some more single frames when Shawn slams Evan against the pane.
( 5 SF )
An ultrashort complete take, the previous and the following ones have been shortened subsequently: Shawn is pressed against the window and frees himself with a whack.
( 1,5 sec. )
An additional hit that Shawn plants on Evan.
( 29 SF )
No running time difference, but when Shawn hits his opponent only in the unrated version some blood splatters.
Some alternative material. When Shawn hits Evan who’s lying at the floor against his head this take is faded earlier and therefore is an insert onto the audience. In the unrated version Evan’s bloody face is a little more clearer and Shawn hauls off for the next hit. The total difference is
( 10 SF )