Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Undisputed

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Very strong prison language including racist language
Nudity/Sex:References to rape and prison sex
Alcohol/Drugs:Mild
Violence/Scariness:Prison fight violence, boxing violence
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters, even racist characters, show respect and loyalty
Movie Release Date:2002

There is more plot and character development in Michael Jackson’s music video for “Beat It” than in “Undisputed,” a forgettable prison boxing movie.

“Iceman” (Ving Rhames), the world heavyweight champion, is convicted of rape and sent to a maximum security prison. Monroe (Wesley Snipes), a former heavyweight contender, is the undefeated champion in the inter-prison division. They fight each other. That isn’t a summary of the movie – that is the movie. There is some flash and attitude, but it is all on the surface.

The boxers fight in a cage rimmed with barbed wire. That makes for some cool shots through the swirls, but it doesn’t make any sense. There’s an escape risk in the middle of a boxing match with all the guards standing there watching? The movie avoids having to show us anything about the characters by just telling us everything we need to know about them with words superimposed on the screen. When the prisoners start banging their cups in the mess hall, the oldest of prison movie clichés, one guard says to another, “These dumb ****s have been watching too many prison movies.” If only they had been paying attention, they could have learned how to make this one better.

Sports movies (and prison movies, and, come to think of it, most movies) work well when they show us a metaphorical journey involving risk, learning, sacrifice and growth. There’s none of that here. Iceman and Monroe are unchanged from beginning to end. We hear that Iceman is a strong offensive boxer, so we expect to see Monroe develop a strategy to put him on the defense. Nope. Iceman says he is not guilty of the rape, so we figure he’s going to have to accept responsibility. Nope. Monroe says that he has learned to live entirely inside himself, rely only on himself, and stay in control at all times, so we expect to see him have to rely on someone else. Nope. Some big deal is made about having the big fight according to the old rules from the bare-knuckle days, but then the guy organizing the fight changes his mind and decides they will use gloves. Except for one guy who dies, everyone ends up pretty much where they started.

All that’s left, then, is the boxing. There are some powerful moments, but they, too, are flash without substance, and show no real understanding of the sport.

Parents should know that the movie has extremely strong language (including the n-word in the soundtrack), violent confrontations, references to rape and prison sex, and corrupt officials. Some viewers will be concerned about implications that a rape survivor may be lying about what happened.

Families who see this movie should talk about what it meant to Monroe and Iceman to be the champion. How were their ways of coping similar and how were they different?

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy some of the classic boxing movies, like “Body and Soul,” “Golden Boy,” “Requiem for a Heavyweight,” “Rocky” and “Raging Bull.”



Previous Posts

Is This the End of Television?
Last week both cable giant HBO and broadcast giant CBS made announcements that signal the end of television as we know it.  Both responded to the clear message of the market and said that they would make their content available in the form and via the delivery system consumers prefer -- the interne

posted 3:24:08pm Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Dylan Baker on Directing for the First Time in the Fact-Based High School Football Movie "23 Blast"
Dylan Baker is probably best remembered for playing some of the most horrific villains imaginable ("The Good Wife," "Happiness").  But his extensive career has included wild comedies ("Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," "Anchorman 2"), historical drama (he was Robert McNamara in "13 Days"), and even

posted 8:00:11am Oct. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Best Movies About Writers
Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It's always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty and eloquent. Movies are written by writers, so they have some insight and appreciatio

posted 3:37:07pm Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Great News About Now You See Me 2
You didn't think Arthur Tressler was going to let them get away with it, did you? I am very happy that one of the most entertaining films of 2013, Now You See Me is getting a sequel and the stars, including Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, and Woody Harrelson, are back, alo

posted 8:00:59am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

In the Footsteps of St. Peter
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4c7qh9hMVY[/youtube] David Suchet (PBS' Hercule Poirot) is the host of In the Footsteps of St. Peter, out tomorrow on DVD.

posted 3:55:57pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.