Undefeated (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Undefeated (2003)





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Lex Vargas (John Leguizamo, who also directed the film) is a promising young boxer living in Jackson Heights, Queens. He works at the family bodega for his older brother, Paulie (David Zayas), but he and his best friend and manager, Loco (Clifton Collins Jr. of The Rules of Attraction), dream of getting out of the neighborhood. Lex wins a PAL championship, and things are looking up, when Paulie is shot by a robber. After Loco convinces him to go on, Lex manages to convince an experienced local trainer, Victor (Nestor Serrano, who starred with Leguizamo in Hangin' with the Homeboys and Empire), to work with him. Before long, Lex has the full attention of Mack (Omar Benson Miller), a shady music promoter who's looking to go into boxing management. Through Mack, he meets Lizette (Vanessa Ferlito), an aspiring singer whose interest in Lex seems tied to his financial fortunes. Before long, Lex finds himself in conflict with Loco and his old friends from the neighborhood, who don't fit in with his lavish new lifestyle. Mack introduces Lex to Seth Green (Robert Forster), a powerful promoter. Before long, Green has Lex fighting for the welterweight title, but the boxer still finds himself torn between his old loyalties and his desire to rise to the top. Undefeated was Leguizamo's directorial debut, and he also worked on the story with screenwriter Frank Pugliese. The film was produced for HBO, and features appearances by HBO boxing commentators Larry Merchant and Jim Lampley.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Television
Directed By:
Written By: Frank Pugliese, John Leguizamo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 23, 2004
HBO Video


John Leguizamo
as Lex Vargas
Vanessa Ferlito
as Lizette Sanchez
Robert Forster
as Scott Green
Michael Olajide
as Melvin Jones
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Critic Reviews for Undefeated

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Audience Reviews for Undefeated


Great film, one of Leguizamo's best performances.

Chosen 718

Super Reviewer

What started out as a bad Rocky ended like a bad Raging Bull. While the last 1/3 was better than the first 2/3, and I appreciated the open ending, this was still a weak film.

Jeff B

Undefeated is a typical rags-to-riches tale about the protagonist finding fame and fortune but forgetting his roots in the process. In fact, everything about this film is cliche: the plot, the dialogue, the characters, the acting. There is nothing here that you haven't seen done ten times better elsewhere... EXCEPT for Vanessa Ferlito naked. Oh my goodness. Let that be the only reason you watch this film-- and it's a damn good reason, too.

I'd also like to talk about the ending. Don't worry, I won't spoil it-- because there IS no ending. The film sets up a climactic moral dilemma for Vic Vargas (Leguizamo): should he throw the fight for more money, or legitimately fight his opponent to finally regain the respect of his friends and repair the relationships he has spent the entire film destroying? Just as he steps into the ring... roll credits. I don't know, maybe this would fly if the rest of the screenplay was written with even an ounce of originality and character depth; instead, this open-ended ending plays like a sad attempt at an artsy twist to a formula film.

Bancho Libre

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