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Play It to the Bone Reviews

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Lucas M

Super Reviewer

February 10, 2012
Awful, unfunny comedy and not good drama that just make you lost time and an opportunity of watch a really great film. Rotten.

Super Reviewer

January 25, 2007
really fun flick to watch if you wanna see something brainless but entertaining
Michael G

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2006
I didn't despise it but I didn't give it another thought until I typed this up.

Super Reviewer

December 25, 2007
October 28, 2013
This movie is a bore. The first half of this movie tries to build relationship between the characters, and though it is somewhat successful, the ride to Vegas just takes too long. By the end of the trip they clearly hope you are attached to the characters enough that you too are torn that they are fighting each other. This did not work at all, and the boxing match was forced, and the conclusion was so obvious based on the discussions prior. This is how to make an awful boxing movie.
February 23, 2008
Worst boxing movie ever made. Only thing that comes out of this movie is a great sexy scene with Lucy Liu.
June 20, 2007
Sort of a flat movie because they take away any and all animosity between the two boxers by making them best friends and I'm supposed to feel bad for them having to fight each other? Lame concept.
November 29, 2006
Not really a boxing movie as much as a strange tale about two men and the woman in both their lives and the loudmouthed, sleazy, bitchy dragon lady played by Lucy Liu. Lots of cameo shots during the boxing scene and strange T&A shots mixed in.
September 15, 2006
Too much macho-bravado sinks this one but it does have good performances from most involved. As far as boxing comedies go, this one is a far cry from Diggstown.
November 3, 2013
As Ron Shelton had a good track record as the director of sports films and Woody Harrelson had the lead role, Play It to the Bone sounded like it was worth a shot.

With the reason release of the 2013 sports comedy Grudge Match, Play It to the Bone has a similar plot. But it doesn't stand up to the quality of Grudge Match because its focus is inconsistent and it doesn't really have the heart of a boxing movie.
Play It to the Bone wants to be a lot of things such as a sports drama, a buddy comedy and a road movie among other things. But Ron Shelton is unable to find the appropriate balance to make it work. It ends up dealing with romantic themes as well which are of little benefit to the film, and it doesn't supply enough laughs or strong characters to justify everything.
The script is clearly is not Ron Shelton's finest work. While the cast of the film manage to make sure that it works well enough and give it a true sense of realism, it does not have sufficient jokes to qualify as a comedy and it generally isn't interesting enough for it to be a drama. I mean the characters are simply uninspired and thinly sketched, so there is little value you can find with the film unless you have a particular liking for the actors in the role. I enjoyed the aspect of the script that dealt with homosexuality because it touched upon the stereotypes in a fairly decent comic manner and it explains how people are commonly defined by their sexuality if it is something other than heterosexuality. But aside from that element, Play It to the Bone has mostly a bland script with few memorable elements whatsoever. For a comedy, the jokes in the film are hard to really pick out because there is a distinct lack of humour and of fun in Play It to the Bone and it takes itself a bit too seriously. If Play It to the Bone wanted to be a legitimate boxing film, it shouldn't have implemented in road movie elements or so many attempts at buddy humour, but it just missed the mark.
The problem is that a lot of the film is dominated by its road movie elements and a lot of the film is made out of extensive periods of random dialogue sequences on the road, largely dominated by the character Grace who really is not an interesting aspect in Play It to the Bone. She gets arguably the most lines in the film, and while Lolita Davidovich plays the part out well with a fine line delivery, she gets annoying pretty fast. She doesn't really contribute anything to the film and just distracts from the focus on the main two characters in the film, so she is little more than a distraction. Her character deals some damage to the film, and it seems as if she is only present because Lolita Davidovich is married to writer-director Ron Shelton. Lolita Davidovich is stuck with a tedious, repetitive, unnecesarry character in Play It to the Bone and it seems like she was written solely so that Ron Shelton could give a sizable part to his wife, which means that Play It to the Bone is plagued by nepotism. She's ok, but her character overshadows Cesar Dominguez and Vince Boudreau in terms of screen time and character focus, and that is the real issue with Play It to the Bone. I could tolerate a lot of the film, but the fact that it is supposed to be about boxers and instead puts an excess of focus on a woman that both of them have once dated ends up being the true downfall of this film, moreso than the generic storytelling and lack of spirit.
Really, Play It to the Bone betrays what its poster promises by being way too little in focusing on boxing. The character don't train, they don't have practice fights, they just take a road trip on the way to one big boxing match. While the boxing climax in Play It to the Bone was an entertaining scene and revealed Ron Shelton's skill for creating sports scenes once again, the rest of the film doesn't have the same spirit that the fighting finale did. All in all, Play It to the Bone has some interesting moments but is simply rudimentary as a whole and the only consistently good aspects in it is the leading two actors.
Woody Harrelson's leading performance in Play It to the Bone manages to make the film worth the viewing. As well as putting up a hell of a fight as a boxer, Woody Harrelson injects his natural comedic spirit into the part and carries the entire film during his scenes. He delivers his lines with relaxed charisma during the right moments and dramatic tension during the others, and so his effort ends up being a very consistently entertaining one. Woody Harrelson fans may be disappointed about his quantity of screen time in Play It to the Bone, but the quality of his performance is undeniable.
And Antonio Banderas makes a capable foil. He's proved many times just how great he is as an action hero, so putting him into the role of a boxer is no challenge for him. He packs a great punch, and during the other scenes in the film he puts his natural charisma into his performance so that his role ends up spirited and even occasionally funny. Him and Woody Harrelson share an awesome chemistry because it has a sense of brotherhood to it which makes a connection between them. Even up against the comedic talents of Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas stands his ground and gives a memorable performance.
Lucy Liu instantly reveals what makes her a great casting decision when she enters the screen. Although he lines are cheaply sketched, she delivers them with a sense of seduction which sucks the viewers in. It is easy to be pulled into her charms because of how easily she executes them, and she uses the subtle sex appeal and natural charm which comes to her easily to a point of benefit in Play It to the Bone.

But despite the quality of the performances from Woody Harrelson, Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu, Play It to the Bone ends up too scattered in focus and ambition to settle on anything and is not a funny comedy, a strong sports film or one of Ron Shelton's best efforts because it only reveals the side to him that supports nepotism by giving most of the screen time to the unfunny Lolita Davidovich.
November 24, 2013
really flat and at the end as the camera panned around in the main event seemed more of a whos who of stars then about the fighting which was very unrealistic to the ring and poor at best. really really flat compared to any other much better boxing movie I can think of out there
April 19, 2013
it is hard to make a movie about boxing boring but the they managed it with this one.

Dull to the bone
November 10, 2012
The fight drags on for far too long for the climax of the film and feels out of place as it doesn't end up serving the rest of the film which consists of character studies and criticism of the big business's.
July 12, 2012
This film is amazing; characters are great, Harrelson is the greatest as usual in Ron Shelton's films, Banderas is ok, dialogs are amazing too. All with the unconfondible mark of Sheldon that i adore.
Superb, u have to see it. 29% is an insult...
Lucas M

Super Reviewer

February 10, 2012
Awful, unfunny comedy and not good drama that just make you lost time and an opportunity of watch a really great film. Rotten.
June 18, 2011
One of my favorite movies of all time. I can't remember how many times I've watched it. Good all-around fun.
July 16, 2005
Nick A.
July 9, 2010
This one had alot of laughable parts i enjoyed it and thought it was pretty funny.
April 5, 2010
This is not a comedy so much as a character study. Too bad its hard to find any of the characters worthwhile to study.
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