Tyson Review

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Documentary/confessional of Mike Tyson, World Heavyweight champion.


Mike Tyson is not a lot of things to a lot of people, he is simply one: a thug-turned-world heavyweight champ who made headlines for his brute force in the ring and the rape and abuse charges that dogged him outside it. It’s testament to James Toback’s documentary, then, that in 90 minutes it transforms him from monster to human being, albeit flawed and wracked with demons.

Using just to-camera interviews and a few telling clips, Tyson is more like a confessional than a character study, from which Iron Mike emerges as a troubled and misunderstood poet. Nothing says this better than the images of him looking out across the sea while quoting, in voiceover, Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad Of Reading Gaol.

Very humane portrait of a potentially extremely unlikeable character.