Bleed For This Reviews
DVD Movie Review: Bleed for This
Date Viewed: March 28 2017
Directed By Ben Younger (Boiler Room and Prime)
Screenplay By Ben Younger, Story By Pippa Bianco, Ben Younger and Angelo Pizzo
Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ciaran Hinds, Amanda Clayton, Sully Erna, Daniel Sauli, Tina Casciani, Joe Jafo Carriere, Edwin Rodríguez and Ted Levine.
"Bleed for This" may have the usual boxing movie tropes but it packs a real knockout performance from Miles Teller. He has really grown up since his charismatic and funny supporting turn in the 2011 "Footloose" remake. Teller has had his share of great leading performances in "The Spectacular Now" and "Whiplash" and he's also had his share of bad performances ("Fantastic Four" and "War Dogs") but nevertheless, he's still one of our finest young actors working today.
Directed by Ben Younger (Boiler Room and Prime), "Bleed for This" does what a normal, based-on-a-true-story boxing drama should do, have some real emotional moments, have our character deal with personal health struggles, have our boxing hero make his big comeback and have a nice feel-good ending.
The acting is pretty much what this movie is going for and the fine performances from Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal and Ciaran Hinds are enough to make "Bleed for This" a solid boxing drama.
Teller plays Vinny "The Pazmanian Devil" Pazienza, a local boxer from Providence who punched his way into boxing history by winning 2 world title fights. After winning the junior middleweight world title, Vinny got involved in a near-fatal car crash which left him in critical condition. Not only does Vinny end up with a broken neck and severed spine, his doctors inform that he may never walk again which would force him to quit the sport he loves dearly.
Vinny is indeed crushed by the news but he's not willing to give up. Now forced to wear a circular metal brace, Vinny really believes that he can get back in the ring so he starts his training in his own basement by doing workouts. Vinny miraculously starts to walk again and he wants his coach Kevin Rooney (Eckhart) to keep his boxing training a secret from his family especially his father (Hinds) and mother (Sagal) who doesn't like seeing her son get hurt in the ring.
Six months after the accident, Vinny finally gets his comeback fighting match. He will be going up against Roberto "Hands of Stone" Durán (Edwin Rodríguez). Vinny Pazienza's return to the ring was marked as one of the most unlikely and out-of-nowhere comebacks in sports history and sure his story was touching and inspiring but don't you think he deserves a better movie with more emotional heft?
The screenplay by director Younger, Pippa Bianco and Angelo Pizzo (Hoosiers and Rudy) could've added more substance and insight but nevertheless, "Bleed for This" is another well-acted boxing drama with a sheer and distinguishing performance from Miles Teller. Teller studied this character really well, he gets the thick Providence accent right, he gets Vinny's fighting skills right and he even has Vinny's goofball charm. Aaron Eckhart is also really good here as Vinny's coach and friend who sticks by him in his comeback return to the ring.
Despite it being predictable and corny at times, "Bleed for This" works as a modestly entertaining sports film.
I definitely did not expect it. It's a biographical-sport-drama, that tells an inspiring story of a talented young American boxer who faced the biggest setback in his career after met with a car crash. The remaining parts focused on how he struggles to come back, while recovering from the serious injury.
The biggest advantage was the cast. I particularly liked Miles Teller in the lead role. His recent rise in the Hollywood was phenomenal and this one is his another must watch film. Even the supporting cast and roles were awesome. If you are a boxing/sports film fan, you will love it. But there is sufficient drama in the tale to build an impressive storyline.
Feels like it is under-appreciated, and being a Hollywood film, the recognition was too poor. In the coming days, years, it will reach the largest audience coverage. From this film, the director is the one who gained big. Surely he should make use of its success to his next films. Because I'll be expecting much better and bigger than this. This film is one of the best of the years, so don't miss it.
Bleed For This is unique from films such as Rocky for two reasons.
1. It is a true story.
2. The main character Vinny Panzienza (played by Whiplash star Miles Teller) is a world champion having suffered a few setbacks, only to suffer a near fatal road accident followed by months wearing a halo neck brace device.
That would normally mean the end of a sportsmans career especially a boxer but no. Panzienza defies the odds to return to the ring triumphantly.
Director Ben Younger has triumphed in bringing this true story to the big screen.
Real film clips in the trailers add a nice touch and remind you this was based on a true story.
I would watch it again.