The true story of boxer Jim Braddock who, in the 1920s following his retirement, makes a surprise comeback in order to get him and his family out of a socially poor state.
The stereotypical sports movie about a character which goes from glory to hell and back to the glory again. The story is OK, but nothing new. Crowe performs well, but it is not one of his best movies. Giamatti is great, as always but Zellwegger is too cheesy in her role. Just an entertaining movie without any more intentions.
This is a fine boxing movie, one that relies more on the fighter’s personal story than endless scenes of boxing brutality. James Braddock’s final rise to the championship was an inspirational example during the lull in between the headline-grabbing reigns of Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis, when the heavyweight title changed hands several times. My only complaint with Ron Howard’s film was its portrayal of Max Baer, the champion Braddock defeated to win the title. For dramatic purposes, they changed his personality and made him into a bullying, vicious person, to the point of making a crude comment about Braddock’s wife. They needed a bad guy so they made one. I became interested in Max Baer when I was a teen and read a lot about him over the decades. He was fierce when he meant business in the ring, but mostly he was happy go liucky and didn’t love the fight game. As a side note, Max Baer’s son was also upset at seeing this man he didn’t recognize as his father (this was Max Baer Jr., Jethro Bodean from the Beverly Hillbillies). But what can you do — making changes is standard procedure for movies based on real events. They are often still worth watching. Just don’t use them for research for a school project, right?