Three splendid performances from Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart and Ciarán Hinds as a real-life boxer, his coach and his dad, are the making of this otherwise just par-for-the-course inspirational boxing drama.
Slightly oddly cast Teller is first rate as World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who suffers a near fatal car crash and, through sheer guts and will power, goes on to make one of sport’s most incredible comebacks.
Eckhart plays it like he’s Burgess Meredith in Rocky and Hinds like he’s the older Robert De Niro in an Italian gangster movie, and in both cases it pays off.
Writer-director Ben Younger, who also wrote and directed Boiler Room (2000) and Prime (2005), makes a powerful job of the direction, keeping the movie tense, pacy and flavourful, and he writes a lot of strong, compelling dialogue. But, extraordinary though the story is, it comes over as ordinary, perhaps just because there have been so many similar boxing movies already.
Warm and humane, Bleed for This is very likeable and enjoyable, though maybe it could have been harder hitting.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Movie Review
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