I just got done watching Fighting on Blu-Ray. Being the second film from Director Dito Montiel, I was expecting a lot more, even after reading the bad reviews. Why was I expecting more?? Because his first and only other film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, was one of my favorite films of 2006. Fighting wasn't even close to the level of Saints.
I will say this, Dito knows New York City. In Saints he gave us the pitch perfect gritty setting of NYC in the 80's, and with Fighting he gives us a pretty good, gritty, as well as classy lifestyle of NYC. The story revolves around Shawn MacArthur, played by 29 year old Channing Tatum. Shawn's a "kid" trying to make it on the streets of NYC selling odd goods such as Harry Potter books along side other street peddlers. When Harvey, played by Terrance Howard, comes across Shawn taking down one of his acquaintances in a street fight, Harvey decides to recruit Shawn as a "fighter" and be his manager, just like that. Even though the story is pretty over the top and has been done before (Lionheart), it could have been much more entertaining than this. Throughout the entire film Shawn only has about three fights, two of which end within minutes. The final brawl is everything you would expect it to be and pretty entertaining actually, I was routing for Shawn and it was the best part of the film for sure. But that doesn't make up for the rest of the films flaws, like Terrance Howards awful character who seems to have some sort of mental illness but it's never explained, to the over acting of the two main fight organizers. It's downright laughable at certain parts. Tatum was pretty decent here though. I liked his role in Saints as the tough guy friend and I think he's found his nitch in Hollywood, but he needs to evaluate his potential projects a little more before committing to them.
I'm willing to let Fighting slide and give Dito Montiel another shot. After watching Saints there is no doubt that he's a talented director, lets just hope he delivers that talent a little more in his next film The Brotherhood of The Rose, also to star Channing Tatum. 2 outa 5.