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Bayonet

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Bayonet Movie Poster Image
Boxer questions ethics of fighting; violence, cursing.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 101 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Take responsibility for your bad deeds.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A decent man realizes he's not so decent as he lives with the consequences of a fight that left a man dead.

Violence

Bloody bruises are shown in boxing scenes. A man dies after a vicious fight. A fighter with neurological problems is said to have killed himself.

Sex

A man and woman kiss passionately and are then seen in bed after having had sex. A man's behind is seen briefly.
 

Language

"F--k," "s--t," and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man drinks too much and inhales a drug from a bong.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bayonet is a 2018 drama set in Finland about a Mexican boxer who quits fighting after a brutal bout leaves him questioning the ethics and decency of the fight game. Hitting and bleeding in the ring are shown. A man dies after a vicious fight. A fighter with neurological problems is said to have killed himself. Drug use is shown. Adults smoke cigarettes and have sex, although no nudity is shown. A man's behind is seen briefly. "F--k," "s--t," and "damn" are used frequently.

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What's the story?

BAYONET is a 2018 Finnish drama (with English subtitles) about Miguel (Luis Gerardo Mendez), a Mexican former Olympic champion boxer who quits fighting after a brutal bout leaves him questioning the ethics and decency of the fight game. Depression leads to drug use and drinking and breaks up his family. He gets a job training contenders in Finland, a tough adjustment for a guy from sunny Tijuana. The desire to make amends with his wife and support his daughter from afar drives him to return to the ring, but that effort gets botched when he learns the fight he's in is fixed. 

Is it any good?

This film could be cut by an hour and still deliver the same tepid rumination on boxing. Many other such dramas have done the job quicker and better, including Raging Bull and the Rocky series. Key information that would help the audience understand the protagonist's anguish are not disclosed until 80 minutes into a 101-minute film. Important characters remain undeveloped and more or less disposable. A lot of plot turns are left unexplained. Why are some fights stopped immediately and others allowed to go on until someone is badly hurt?

What's indisputable is the riveting performance given by Mendez as the tortured fighter, turning something otherwise forgettable into something watchable. Bayonet is appropriate only for teens old enough to understand why people might want to subject themselves to the risks of violent and competitive sports.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sports like boxing and football, in which participants can receive damaging blows to the head. Do you think such sports should be allowed for kids? For adults?

  • Why do you think people enjoy participating in and watching sports? What do you think is at the root of our fascination?

  • Why do you think Miguel returns to boxing in Bayonet? Do you think he regrets that decision?

Movie details

For kids who love sports

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