Parents' Guide to

Resurrecting the Champ

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Reporter's ethics get KO'd in bland boxing tale.

Movie PG-13 2007 111 minutes
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The film addresses interesting issues, but Resurrecting the Champ tends to reduce complex answers to simple-seeming melodrama. (It doesn't help that Hartnett isn't a terribly convincing performer.) Erik is in a gnarly business, where stories and truth aren't always different: "The one thing people don't want is the truth," explains Metz by way of a lecture. Because truth is too ambiguous, they want heroic tales or tragedies, moral lessons and judgments. The problem is, this movie uses the Champ's complications to get at Erik's simplicity.

"A writer, like a boxer," Erik says early on, "must stand alone. Having your work published, like fighting in a ring, puts your talent on display ... Sometimes the results can be disastrous." This not only sets up a disaster in the plot but also establishes Erik's notion that he has talent -- at least temporarily. These themes will be familiar to viewers of writer-director Rod Lurie's other films, like The Contender, which was set in the world of Washington, D.C. politics.

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