“Bleed for This” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

30 November, 2016

Director: Ben Younger
Screenwriter: Ben Younger
Director of Photography: Larkin Seiple 
Cast: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart

Synopsis: Bleed for This is based on the story of world-renowned boxing champion Vinny Paz who trained his way back up to the middleweight championship after the near-fatal car crash that almost left him completely paralyzed.

Bleed for This Review:

As is often the case with biographical movies, the marketing team behind “Bleed For This” chose not to hold back on revealing the entire story in the trailers, assuming perhaps that most would already be familiar with the tale of boxing legend Vinny Pazienza, but also missing out on the opportunity to shock those who are unaware of his remarkable story. For this reason, the rather typical equilibrium-disequilibrium structure of the sports narrative draws attention to itself here as anyone who happens to have caught the trailer can foresee each event before it takes place.

Writer-director Ben Younger attempts to mask this predictability behind the film’s plodding pace as the circumstances surrounding the Vinny Paz story become unpredictable solely in terms of when they will happen and how they will play out. The infamous car crash is perhaps the most outstanding moment in this regard as the filmmakers frame the scene in a disturbing slow reveal, a moment scored only with the piercing sound of car horn as broken glass, bleeding wounds, and billowing smoke flop onto screen in a graphic display of shock and carnage.

Notable only for its nuts and bolts approach to pain and willpower, “Bleed For This” is both a rudimentary Italian-American underdog story and a star vehicle for Miles Teller who buffs himself up to an impressive size only to have the creators fail on him when it comes to the social commentary. Despite managing to avoid a full-blown trumpet montage, the film leads up to an underwhelming goal as Pazienza reveals the truth behind his success in a brief exchange which only seeks to damage the already pallid screenplay. It’s a moment with about as much depth as a man with a spinal cord injury forlornly sitting in a strip club surrounded by gyrating women; an idea presented in a quite literal fashion in this fun but metaphorless movie.


Review Date
Bleed For This