Saturday, January 31, 2009

Resurrecting the Champ. B

It's surprising how 'Resurrecting the Champ' unfolds, because though the expected drama increases (it's based off a true story) the movie actually gets better towards the end. The main character actually grows stronger as some of the semi-cliched messages start to mount up. Erik Kernan (Josh Hartnett) is a young, struggling sports writer whose boss (Alan Alda) says his stories are lacking life. Erik also has some troubles with his personal life. Divorced, he must set a good example for his son Teddy (Dakota Goyo) as well as be someone who his son can look upon with with awe and admiration. One day he meets Champ (Samuel L. Jackson) a former boxer who is living on the streets. Champ tells Erik that he is the great Bob Satterfield and Erik believes him. He then realizes that this is the beginning of the inspirational story that he has been waiting to write. All goes well for Erik. The story gets published and it is an immediate success. But what happens when men from the past appear telling Erik that Champ may not be who he says he is? There were many things that weren't right with this movie. First of all, Jackson is good as Champ, but his rough voice gets sort of aggravating after a while. Also, Teri Hatcher has a brief appearance as a news lady attempting to bring Erik in as a Vegas sports host. This sequence in the movie simply felt odd and out of place. But Hartnett is actually pretty good as Erik and Alda gives a nice performance too. The message is obvious: this movie isn't about boxing, or journalism. It's about the connecting link between fathers and sons and what a father can and can't do to be a model figure for his boy. The film could have been a disaster, but director Rod Lurie keeps it just smart enough to keep it from becoming a sentimental mish-mash of a movie.

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