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Parents' Guide to


By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Street-fighting saga is stylish but cliched and violent.

Movie PG-13 2009 105 minutes
Fighting Poster Image

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Kids say (3 ):

Opening with a '70s-styled montage, Fighting hints that it might be more than just another fights-and-fury action film. Howard's work as wheedling, cajoling Harvey also adds to the retro feel. Unfortunately, an ace soundtrack and sterling character acting aren't enough to make Fighting much more than a series of poorly shot fight sequences strung together with cliches.

The script is as underdeveloped as Tatum's muscles are well-developed; viewers don't get much insight into what motivates Shawn to take and dispense brutal beatings, and we don't really glimpse why he feels like this is the only way he can make money -- or even what he needs to make money for. Fighting is actually structured uncannily like a video game -- down to the series of increasingly difficult fights against tougher and tougher opponents and the finale against the most difficult opponent, who shares a past connection with Shawn. Director Dito Montiel tries to fill the film with scrappy, funky flavor, but Fighting's so comfortable in its mediocrity that it actually bores you with its barrage of blows.

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