This is fantastic boxing film. Wesley Snipes doesn't play the character he normaly plays. Yes, he plays an action hero, but for the first time in a movie...he is fairly quite and soft spoken. The best thing about this movie, is that it builds up the anticipation of the big fight at the end. It doesn't just show a story then thow an ending at you. Their is a lot of plot that is built up to give you a great fight at the end.
Wesley Snipes plays 'The Champ,' a felon behind bars for life who finds primary solace in remaining undefeated in prison league bouts. Ving Rhames plays 'The Champ,' the world heavyweight boxing champion sent to jail -- ala Mike Tyson -- for allegedly raping a young woman in his company. Director Walter Hill has more than his fair share of memorable action flicks under his belt. Peter Falk (in a supporting performance) brings an aging Soprano-esque performance as a mafia don behind bars manipulating the two champs, Vegas odds, and the entire prison system to see that this fight goes on.
However, in the end, the viewer is awarded a message that was delivered in the film's first ten minutes: just because the world recognizes you as the finest athlete around doesn't mean you're destined to remain "undisputed."
Sadly, the film goes nowhere except when it spends time in the squared circle. Snipes and Rhames trade punches but, sadly, the script only gives them a handful of chances to trade barbs outside the ring. Had the two been given the opporunity to use their charisma outside of left jabs and right hooks, this film might've been elevated above standard prison action fare; as it is, it's just "unengaging."
There are no surprises in this film as it builds to its inevitable climax, with Peter Falk cast as a Mafioso inmate who arranges a boxing match inside the prison walls. The acting is uniformly good. And the script well written. That's about the most to be expected from this kind of film.
Frankly, I rather liked it. Maybe because it didn't try to be anything but what it was. Therefore I give it a mild recommendation.
Guess I can't get everything I want.
Ving is the World Champion boxer imprisoned for raping a woman. In the prison we find that there is an underground boxing world run by the guards and an old mobster. The champion in this world is Wesley. Naturally the movie builds to the final conflict between the two.
The movie was, at best, bad. I kept watching hoping to see something emerge from this mess and it didn't. The plot, or what little there was, was pure cliche and a bad one at that. Neither actor really invested anything in the characters, both of which were also pure cliche. Ving's was arrogant and over the top. Wesley's was a Zen warrior.
Don't waste your time with this one. If you want to see a "bad" boxing movie then Play it to the Bone with Antonio and Woody is much more entertaining.