Against the Ropes

Still playing catch up on some recent releases.

Saw AGAINST THE ROPES on the plane this past week. Some people say you cannot judge a film well if you see it on the plane because it’s been edited for content, length – and to fit the screen. All valid points.

Except when a film isn’t very good. I thought AGAINST THE ROPES may have been written with the best of intentions, but I have two problems with it. First, if the story was compelling once, it got lost along the way. Second, boxing. It’s one of the sports I have no appreciation for. Look at Mohammad Ali. All that brain damage, failed marriages… and for what?

I looked at the man next to me who was watching the film, too. Only he fell asleep. When the film was over and he woke, I asked him if he liked the film. “Kinda boring…” Then I asked him what it was about boxing – did he like it? “Yes. It’s the male ego. Gotta win.”

FIGHT CLUB was a violent film, but rich in ideas. AGAINST THE ROPES, the fictionalized story of Jackie Kallen, a famous boxing promoter (well, famous for some; I didn’t know who she was – sorry Ms. Kallen) could have taken it’s place with films about women who overcame great obstacles to take their place in the world. Obviously, she had to overcome obstacles to do what she did. Alas, the telling lacks inspiration and drama. Omar Epps as Luther the boxer Kallen discovers is credible. Despite the Great Lakes accent (Detroit to Buffalo) that she has down perfectly, Meg Ryan must still be searching for the next memorable role.


(Ever notice on COLD CASE, the Sunday night TV show, that takes place in Philadelphia – no one has a Philadelphia accent? Everyone’s imported from Manhattan.)