When a struggling sports writer with dreams of big-time stories rescues a homeless man from an attack by a gang of street thugs, he unwittingly finds himself with a one-time boxing legend believed to be dead in Resurrecting The Champ.
The sweet science is more than a series of simple one-two hits, and, like Resurrecting the Champ (2007-Directed by Rod Lurie (Last Castle) it is a methodical, well conceived plan of execution. Yet, as in boxing, a few slip ups can cost the round; a few rounds the fight. This title bout of a film is based on a true story built on a deception that really was a lie that brought redemption to one man and peace to another… confused? Boxing is not that simple nor is this film.
Both contenders (Samuel L. Jackson as The Champ and Josh Hartnett as struggling sports reporter Erik Kernan) each carry into this ring an inner dilemma. Through a series of sometime predictable rounds they learn only facing reality will bring a conclusion to their individual turmoil at the final bell. You will not see tumultuous fight scenes as in Rocky but you will witness a conflict of emotions between each.
Laced with implants toward the sensitivities of our fellow man and the love of a child/father relationship Resurrecting the Champ doesn’t deliver that knockout punch I expected but I am positive the judges will see it as a winner through unanimous decision. I wasn’t knocked to the canvas, as I had hoped, yet I felt every hit of the complexities of deception and lies. The film reminded me of an old boxing adage, “It’s the one you don’t see coming that’ll hurt ‘ya.”
Review by Henry P. Gravelle
Buy on Amazon: Resurrecting The Champ