October 30, 2013

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013)

Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Country: USA

Movie Review: “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” is an innocuous drama disguised of documentary, directed by English filmmaker Stephen Frears who gave us great works in the past, such as “Liam”, “The Queen”, “Dangerous Liaisons”, “High Fidelity”, and “Dirty Pretty Things”. The story, written by Shawn Slovo (“Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, “Catch a Fire”), focuses on boxer Cassius Clay’s court battle against US when he refused to take part in the Vietnam war. Clay had changed his name to Muhammad Ali after embrace Islam religion, and invoked religious beliefs for his decision not to defend his country in war. This cost him his Heavyweight Champion title at the time. What Frears offers us here is more the fight among Supreme Court’s jurists, headed by John Marshal Harlen (Christopher Plummer) who, after vote to condemn Ali, decided to reverse his decision, influenced by his recently hired lawyer Kevin Connoly (Benjamin Walker). The exhibited footage of Ali’s fights and statements were the most interesting part, while the story’s recreation never created the desired impact. My interest was brought down by the way Frears chose to address and depict the matter, failing to gather the right elements to make it enjoyable. Sometimes I thought I was watching a TV movie; even when the tempers flared in the justice office, I remained comfortably sleepy in my chair. Unbalanced and devoid of any thrill, this is probably one of the weakest movies in Frears’ career.

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