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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Meg Ryan
Omar Epps
Tony Shalhoub
Timothy Daly.
Directors
Charles S. Dutton.
Screenwriters
Cheryl Edwards.
Running Time
111 minutes

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Against the Ropes
Meg Ryan stars as the sassy lady trying to enter the sexist world of Boxing management.


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Plot
A secretary at a boxing arena, Jackie Kallen (Ryan), is desperate to be taken seriously. After stumbling upon local tough guy Luther (Epps), she leads him to boxing stardom, despite opposition from the male-dominated establishment.


Review
Loosely based on the true story of Jackie Kallen, who triumphed in the face of sexism to became one of the most successful female boxing managers of all time, this could have been a girl power classic. But right from the opening scene, which sees young Jackie's boxer uncle telling her "the world's an oyster and you're a pearl", it's clear we're going to be bitterly disappointed.

Jackie is a sassy, brassy lady (her wipe-clean animal print skirts and low-cut tops tell us this), and female viewers in particular are clearly supposed to be punching the air and whooping "go, girl!" as she makes her move from undervalued minion to hotshot manager. However, the weak script means her supposed wisecracks can be difficult to take seriously, which doesn't do an awful lot for the film's credibility.

Likewise director-actor Charles S. Dutton's character, Felix, the former trainer Jackie lures out of retirement to get her ghetto kid wannabe into shape. He's just as one-dimensional and predictable as the other leads - though none of the acting is poor. Throw in the blatant signposting of every plot turn and mood shift, and what could have been a gripping tale becomes hammy and overdone.


Verdict
Not really. The cast are committed enough, but the superficial screenplay and telegraphed direction mean it fails to pack the required punch.


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Against The Ropes

Jackie Kallen (Meg Ryan) has been a boxing fan ever since she use to watch her uncle train. All grown up and working for a dim-witted Sports protmoter, Jackie inadvertantly takes a bet from super smooth boxing promoter Sam (Tony Shalhoub) that she couldn't manage a fighter he owns, and sells his contract for a dollar. Unbeknown to her, the fighter is a junkie, and its on a visit to him that she encounters Luther Shaw (Omar Epps), a tough, hot-headed kid from the streets. She promises him to turn... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by wrenster at 13:11, 10 February 2006 | Report This Post


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