A principled martial-arts instructor is drawn into the world of competition fighting and fight promotion in this 2008 drama from writer / director David Mamet.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Four Brothers, Salt) is Mike Terry, a former soldier turned jiu-jitsu instructor who has fallen on hard times. As he struggles to pay the rent an accidental shooting at his dojo involving a lawyer (Emily Mortimer) and a policeman sparks a series of events that leads to Terry mixing with movie stars (Tim Allen) and unscrupulous managers.
Against his better judgment and personal beliefs Terry agrees to take part in a mixed martial-arts fighting tournament. Will he triumph while keeping his principles intact?
The growing popularity of
has inevitably spawned numerous films. Most of them are straight to DVD efforts that concentrate on action and the
biggest success of the genre has undoubtedly been Warrior starring Tom Hardy
& Nick Nolte.
While Warrior was a Rocky type story with an
MMA backdrop David Mamet (who is himself a
jiu-jitsu practitioner) has concentrated on the style of fighting that inspired
MMA and the ethics of a man firmly
embedded in its teachings.
Ejiofor is superb as the morally conflicted martial artist and brilliant support comes from Mortimer, Allen and Alice Braga as Terry’s wife. Many real-life fighters also appear, including Randy Couture of The Expendables.
This is the thinking man’s
movie and is an absolute must-see for fans of jiu-jitsu and MMA. This will also
appeal to anyone who enjoys high quality drama and good old-fashioned underdog
Ric’s Rating: Essential.