Big Picture Big Sound

Fighting on Blu-ray Disc Review

By Rachel Cericola
The Film

When you go into a movie like Fighting, you pretty much know what you are getting into. Yes, we love to sacrifice things like plotline and dialogue in the name of bare-chested blood sports.

Fighting does eliminate the need for a large wardrobe or vocabulary. However, it also sort of eliminates the need for, well... fighting. How a movie about bare-knuckled, bare-chested underground fighting can get a PG-13 rating is beyond us. Here's how: They took out all of the good parts.

We have our hero, a Rocky-esque hulky Shawn (G.I. Joe star Channing Tatum). He's homeless, got a beef with his old man, and has his own soundtrack following him throughout the city. You know the drill. A few punches to a few pedestrians, and he is discovered by Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard), the corner con man, who apparently can help kick off your career in street fighting. As each purse increases, we get to know a bit more about our main characters, but do you care? No! Bring on more fighting.

Maybe we'd feel more attached if the film didn't have a predictable plot with predictable characters. We doubt it, though. After all, there's nothing wrong with a little predictability, if it's all in the name of entertainment. However, for a movie about fighting, there's very little blood and even less sweat. In fact, we were sweating more while loading the Blu-ray. Even when Shawn gets a kick to the face, the slow motion is wasted on, well... the kick to the face. Where's the spew?

Aside from the story, Tatum does a decent job throwing jabs, while Howard seems to take a step down (and we're assuming a pretty large paycheck). Unless you're fans of either actor, it's best to at least rent this one first. There was more blood in Bambi.

Want more info on the movie? Check out Joe Lozito's review of the theatrical release of Fighting.

The Picture

Movies like Fighting are really all about looks, so it's no surprise that the image is very good. City shots are stellar, including ones taken from hundreds of feet up. Fleshtones are rich and precise, as are many of the other colors -- and there are plenty of them. Expect a lot of detail as well as deep blacks. The fight scenes are slightly less detailed because of the bobbing, weaving, and  broken glass. It's barely noticeable, though, mainly because you'll be too busy looking for the blood.

The Sound

Again, films like Fighting are all about the action. The DTS-HD Master Audio track serves this film well, as Shawn pummels his opponents. There's a lot of bass and crowd chatter for your surrounds. However, a lot of those fights are drowned out by the film's steady, heavy soundtrack. That pops up everywhere, but there are a plethora of other sounds, compliments of New York's city streets and nightclubs. Despite the bass thumping in many scenes, there are plenty with low dialogue, most noticeably the one between villain Jack Dancing (Roger Guenveur Smith) and Harvey talking about Shawn's climactic fight.

The Extras

Wow wee. It's been a while since we've seen a new release with extras this stinky. Sure, it wasn't a blockbuster, but you'd think with Tatum's follow-up films, Public Enemies and G.I. Joe, the studio would want to give viewers a little extra peek at its star. With this type of title, we expect a little something on the training and/or choreography of the fight scenes. Instead, there's a meager 8-minute reel of deleted scenes.

Final Thoughts

Fighting pulls very few punches. It's got a decent Blu-ray transfer, but that doesn't really make up for the predictable main characters, predictable love interest, and sort of a predictable ending.

Product Details
  • Actors: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Zulay Henao, Brian White
  • Director: Dito Montiel
  • Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), DTS 5.1 (French, Spanish), Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Region: A
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rating: PG-13/Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Blu-ray Disc Release Date: August 25, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes (Rated), 108 minutes (Unrated)
  • List Price: $39.98
  • Extras:
    • Theatrical & Unrated Versions
    • Deleted Scenes
    • BD Live
    • D-Box Motion Enabled
    • Digital Copy

What did you think?

View all articles by Rachel Cericola
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