When the entirety of a film’s plot is in its title, you can generally assume it is not going to be of the highest caliber. There is a market for these films, though, as long as they meet the criteria of being “so bad they’re good.” There is a thin line between awesomely awful and just plain awful, and “Fighting” rides it for 105 minutes.
Let’s briefly outline the plot of “Fighting”: Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) is a counterfeiter with a heart. While trying to sell a copy of “Harry Potter and the Hippopotamus” to a nice NYC native (Zulay Henao), he is robbed by some common crooks. Later he bumps into Harvey (Terrence Howard), the leader of the crooks, who tells Shawn that in exchange for not beating the living pulp out of him, Harvey will get him $5000 for winning in a fight. Shawn says yes. And fights. For the rest of the movie.
Before we delve into the intricacies of this lovely film, I would like to note that “Fighting” is Terrence Howard’s big screen follow-up to being kicked off the cast of “Iron Man 2.” Though IMDB.com lists him being in a film called “For All Mankind” released in March, I am excluding that due to the fact it is so popular it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry about it. The lesson to learn here? Don’t be greedy.
Written by: Dito Montiel and Robert Munic
Starring: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard
Running time: 105 minutes
Seen at: Regal Fenway
“Fighting” has every genre clichƒ© imaginable: the girl is more than she seems to be, main character has daddy issues, there is a twist at the end so blatant it was like the filmmakers wanted you to guess it ahead of time. And then there are the fights, both physical and verbal, that litter the entirety of the movie. The physical ones would have been cool had they been shot in a way to actually see what was going on. The verbal ones were just painful to listen to.
Hands down, the best line in film is when one of the head counterfeiters tells Channing Tatum to “step up.” For those of you that don’t get the reference, the line was a reference to Tatum’s 2006 hit “Step Up” (or its 2008 sequel “Step Up 2: The Streets.” Sorry, I can’t say that without laughing.).
The fact of the matter is, this film is bad. But is it so bad it’s good?
Any film that casts extras as “Flawless Woman #3″ “Fine Russian Girl #1″ or “Man in a Cowhide Suit” typically knows not to take itself too seriously. The boys will like the fights. The girls will like seeing Tatum with his shirt off. But if you’re really itching for some cool action and quality Tatum, wait until August 7 for “G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra.”