Movie Reviewed: Fighting
Directed By: Dito Montiel
Starring: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Zulay Henao, Michael Rivera, Luis Guzman, Brian J. White
Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense fight sequences, a sex scene and brief strong language.
Runtime: 105 minutes
Studio: Misher Films

New York has rhythm. Residents in the “Big Apple” occasionally exist at one another’s expense; and the gritty streets of New York make a complimentary back- drop for the pros and cons of winning and losing in the game of life. In the new film Fighting, Director Dieto Montiel gives New York rhythm new-fangled meaning as he redefines the words “beat, beaten and beat-up.”

Hot and handsome heart throb, Channing Tatum is Shawn MacArthur, a man who is trying to survive on the streets of New York. Earthy, gritty and exciting, Tatum demonstrates that hand to hand combat has never been more intense or suspenseful. Fighting as a film is perfectly predictable, but worth every minute of viewing because of the motley cast, the natural performances and that “root for the underdog” feeling.

Terrance Howard portrays one of his most squidgy characters to date as Harvey Boarden. A mild- mannered, fast talking, low level New York hustler looking for a break, Boarden finds a cash cow in young MacArthur when he introduces the lad on the underground fighting circuit. Rich folks and street thugs alike bet big bucks on fighters. As young MacArthur builds a winning reputation, he runs into old rival, cocky fighting champion Evan Hailey, played “spot-on” by Brian J. White. Love also enters the ring.

Romantic interest Zulay (her real first name) Velez is a sultry single mother, who is trying to make ends meet by working as a waitress at a local club. Velez lives with her daughter, and Alba Guzman, her doting, protective and no nonsense grandmother. Seventy eight year-old actress Altagracia Guzman steals every scene she is in, even beating out the surefire charms of little Lila, her on screen granddaughter.

Fighting is full of good old fashioned butt kicking, that looks real and will make you wince. Every fight is engaging, intense, and full of satisfaction. Channing gave flesh for this role; his nose was broken by one of the professional fighters. Such brutality is a testament to the mesmerizing and raw gladiator action that can be found in the movie.

On screen, raw, sexy, hot, passion flows from every molecule of Tatum’s body. Together, Henao and Tatum exhibit the kind of electric sensation that is often sought out in leading couple pairings, but rarely achieved. When their characters, Zulay and Shawn, finally they kiss, you’ll want to jump in a cold pool, cause you’ll catch fire just watching.

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