Ali Reviews

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bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
August 19, 2014
This movie is probably Will smiths best movie. Will smith is a brilliant actor. He plays the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. I expected more of a boxing movie but it was more about religion and Alis life outside of boxing. Muhammad Ali was a Muslim and he worshiped Elijah Muhammad. Elijah Muhammad was the leader of nation of Islam, and Muhammad Ali wanted to spread hes message thru boxing. Muhammad Ali was a smart boxer, he made hes opponents angry before the match by teasing them and calling them names. This is a movie you probably have to see, probably one of my favorite movies. "Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. You're hands cant hit what you're eyes cant see" 4 Stars 4-7-14
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
November 17, 2013
Michael Mann's Ali is an average boxing film about the Muhammad Ali, one of the most famous boxers who has ever lived. Unfortunately, I felt that this film wasn't a testament to his career, and though good, it leaves a lot to be desired. Will Smith is pretty goods ion the lead role, and he departs from his usual action films by delivering a dramatic performance. However, this is not a standout feature like Scorsese's classic Raging Bull. Mann is able to craft some terrific films, however this is one of his weaker one. Considering the subject, you'd expect something truly great, but the end result is a film that has plenty of flaws. I liked it, but I felt that it could have been much better than what was filmed. Will Smith is for me, a decent actor, and with this film, was his first real dramatic role, as he was more of an action star in the first place. He would later make better dramatic films, but Ali leaves a lot to be desired, especially considering that the subject is about one of the most famous boxers in the history of the sport. This should have been much better and it is one of those films that never realizes its full potential. The script should have been reworked to make it a much better picture that told a truly engaging story. Ali is an average film that never really satisfies. I feel that the ultimate biopic on Muhammad Ali has yet to be made. Michael Mann has made better films, but as it is Ali is good, but is far from a great picture.
garyX
Super Reviewer
½ December 26, 2006
This biopic concentrates on the period between Muhammad Ali gaining the heavyweight championship of the world as Cassius Clay, through to when regained it at the "Rumble In The Jungle" ten years later. Will Smith (minus the face fuzz) was the obvious and perfect casting choice for a charming, charismatic motor-mouth and he is completely believable as the legendary fighter, but he is also surrounded by a supporting cast who are all knockout themselves; particularly an unrecognisable Jon Voigt as the sportscaster and long time friend Howard Cosell, Jamie Foxx as his junkie sidekick and even Mario Van Peebles proves he can actually act given the right material as Malcolm X. I would have liked to have seen more of the political climate during these years of the civil rights movement but Mann's visuals are as stylish as always and he finds a nice balance between the man's sporting and personal lives. Ali may not be perfect (those with no interest in boxing will no doubt be left cold) but it is a fitting testament to a sporting icon who was not only incredibly gifted, but also a true role model and ambassador for his sport.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2011
Smith has a tough role to tackle with Ali, but he does a tremendous job with it. Solid.
MANUGINO
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2009
The Champ is here!

Good movie and terrific acting by Will Smith as Muhammad Ali, he really deserved his 2002 nomination for best actor oscar. They story to me was very different and religious and tedious and wasn't that interesting as I would have like it to be but it was decent enough. The supporting cast wasn't so supportive I think that was key for this movie's road to greatness. I love sport films including boxing one's but this one didn't really capture my full attention and love. Boxing fights were pretty good I gotta admit.

In 1964, a brash new pro boxer, fresh from his olympic gold medal victory, explodes on to the scene, Cassius Clay. Bold and outspoken, he cuts an entirely new image for African Americans in sport with his proud public self confidence with his unapologetic belief that he is the greatest boxer of all time. To his credit, he sets out to prove that with his highly agile and forceful style soon making him a formidable boxer who soon claims the heavyweight championship. His personal life is no less noteworthy with his allegiance to the Nation of Islam, his friendship with the controversial Malcolm X and his abandonment of his slave name in favour of Muhammad Ali stirring up controversy. Yet, at the top of his game, both Ali's personal and professional lives face the ultimate test with the military draft rules are changed, making him eligible for military induction during the Vietnam War. Despite the fact that he could easily agree to a sweetheart deal that would have meant an easy tour of duty for himself, Ali refuses to submit on principle to cooperate in an unjust war for a racist nation that treated his people so poorly. The cost of that stand is high as he finds himself unable to legally box in his own country while his case is contested in court. What follows is a battle for a man who would sacrifice so much for what he believes in and a comeback that would cement his legend as one of the great sports figures of all time.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
Michael Mann is a talented filmmaker I really like, but his last few films that I've watched have been a little perplexing. They have good intentions, and are competently made, but they feel very much in their own little world. It's hard to really get into what he's doing in terms of the point or goal he has with these films.

That's especially true here. This is a decent film, and I like it (hence the marginal recommendation), but he tries to do a whole lot, yet nothing ever really feels completely fleshed out. That's a bit of an issue with a 155 minute running time. Many of the plot points here cpould have been told in their own single film. What this film basically amounts to is a vivid yet aloof biographical sketch of an important American figure during an important time in his life, during the history of the country.

The first third of the film may be really boring and tedious for many to get through, especially if they have little to no prior knowledge of the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X or the dynamics of the social issues of the time. Also, I didn't think it was wholly necessary to reenact the assassination of Malcom X (well done though it was) when it was already done by Spike Lee over a decade earlier.

The movie gives insights into Ali's life, but in the end, many questions still remain. It's an interesting portrait, and Ithe cast is great (and give some strong performances), but I think that ,as is, this film doesn't do the justice to the story that it could or should have. For instance, I would have liked to have known more about the relationship between Ali and his white trainer, especially when Ali was at his most militant. Also, it would have been nice had dates been given so the audience would have a better idea of when some of these events took place.

This might be Mann's weakest film (that I've seen), but it is still entertaining despite the flaws. It is well shot, the fights (and other sequences) are done well, and Smith is the best possible pick for the lead. Maybe if there was a commentary track some insight could be given, and some confusion could be cleared up.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2011
'Ali' is an interesting film about the early career of "Cassius Clay" who of course would eventually become 'Mohammed Ali'.

Unfortunately this film is more of a documentary than a blockbuster. While the fights themselves are well filmed and exciting, they are not and could not be as live up to the actual real life events and herein lies this films downfall. Will Smith does his best to play Mohammed Ali but its difficult to add anything to a character that was so outspoken and animated anyway, let alone the fact that he is probably more well known than Will Smith. The finale to this film is the Rumble in the Jungle, a fight between the then World Champion George Foreman and the underdog, an aging Ali. This fight attempts to build suspence for a shock finale but anyone who knows boxing (and lets face it, if you are watching a boxing film you probably do) alraedy knows the outcome.

Well filmed with good acting but ultimately this film was too long, too slow and could never surpass the events of real life for entertainment value.

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee His hands can't hit what his eyes can't see. "
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2009
This is a great blockbuster. There are some great acting moments but none from Will Smith. Will Smith can't box, but after some heavy music and the ongoing Ali saga you really begin to feel for Will Smith and accept what the film is about. Will Smith brings the wit Ali spoke to another level. Its worth watching.
deano
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2006
Amazing biographic of famous African-American boxer Muhommad Ali and his political martyrdom and compulsive womanising; most of the major events of his life are given the epic widescreen treatment, as is his controversial and much glossed over conversion to Islam. Will Smith was the best chosen and made excellent performance as heavyweight boxing champion in his boxing scenes.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2009
A vague insight into the life and career of Muhammad Ali. I say vague because after 2 and a half hours, there is only about 45 minutes worth of storytelling, the rest of the film is all shaky camera background shots which add nothing to the story. It?s funny really, I've always liked Ali but after seeing this film, I can't help but feel that, as likable and funny as he is, he's just a bit of an unintelligent arse. Not bad but doesn't live up to the hype, although Smith does do a great job!
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2009
I was never alive back when Muhammad Ali was king of the world in the boxing arenas, but I've watched a good number of his fights on a great channel called Classic Sports Network. I was always impressed with his skills as a fighter and his cheekiness and trash talking was usually humorous. In other words, I'm a Muhammad Ali fan.
I rented "Ali" after hearing all the praise that it's received from the start, even though I'm usually not a fan of biographical movies. During and after watching the movie, I had feelings that resided on both sides of the spectrum. The movie lasts about two and a half hours. During those two and a half hours, the movie is entertaining and it may even show you some things you didn't know about Muhammad Ali (I learned some new things). On top of all that, Will Smith does a really good job of portraying Muhammad Ali's old personality (harsh sense of humor, saying anything and everything he wants, etc.), while also fighting like the classic boxer (yep, you'll even see the famous shuffling of the feet).

However, when the movie was over, it left me disappointed. One, it mainly just shows the things that Muhammad Ali went through during parts of his boxing career. What did Cassius Clay grow up doing? What were his parents and siblings like? How has he adjusted to life after getting Parkinson's disease? And the list could go on and on for several more lines. On top of that, it's not even comprehensive when it comes to his boxing career; it doesn't even mention many fights such as those against Larry Holmes.

Pretty much, the movie ends all of a sudden and it will leave you asking many questions. It's a prime example of a film with a MAJOR cliffhanger involved. But like I said, it is a good movie and it's entertaining while it lasts. If you're a boxing or Muhammad Ali fan, I would recommend renting "Ali" before buying it. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2002. Easily Will Smith's worst movie, and does no justice to the all time great boxer.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2006
A big and serious film for Will Smith, however I only ever saw Will Smith acting as Mohammed Ali, not at anytime did I feel that he had transformed into Ali, which so many actors have managed when acting in biopics. I can?t help feeling that this role may have suited a talented newcomer more aptly. That being said, the film touched upon all the parts of Ali?s life in which you would expect of the film.
At two and a half hours long, it is incredibly drawn out.
Chiefilms
Super Reviewer
March 2, 2008
Michael Mann as always makes shots look really good but the storyline tries to chronicle everything that happened in the mid-60's while trying to focus on Ali's life.
kpn666
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2006
EXCELLENT. SUPERB.

(Ill write a proper reivew later)
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2007
Jamie Foxx can really act...this is proof.
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2007
Awesome movie. Will Smith surprised me, as ALI. When I heard he would be playing him, I pretty much didnt take it seriously, but he did an awesome job in this documentry/movie, of the greatest, boxer of all time.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2007
Very missable. Despite an electrifying Smith, the plot becomes way to muddled and the storyline just downright uninteresting.
Super Reviewer
May 22, 2007
Boring - neither exciting nor interesting. Boxing ain't my thing and this adds little to the much repeated story of the oppression of black-americans. If you like the former just watch Rocky, if you interested in the latter then see American History X.
Super Reviewer
February 28, 2007
Slow pacing gets tedious, but epic boxing action makes up for it.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2006
Not all that great.
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