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Undisputed

Undisputed

What He said:

He

There is an old urban legend about Mike Tyson getting into a fight – and losing – while in prison. I don’t know if this movie is trying to portray the story of that urban legend but the main character is definitely modeled after Tyson. Not long into the movie you quickly realize George “Iceman” Chambers is very obviously based on Mike Tyson. Much like Tyson, the Iceman (Ving Rhames) is sent to jail on a rape conviction. A crime he claims he did not commit. Like Tyson, he’s also the most known heavyweight fighter in the world and a former champion.

A major athlete like that going to prison is a story in and of itself, but when the very same prison is home of the “prison league champ” it gets people’s attention. Monroe Hutchen (Wesley Snipes) is the most popular fighter in this underground operation. Fighters from all over meet one another in the ring in this lax rules style, where prisoners, prison officials, and organized criminals all wager on the outcome of the fights. Monroe is a former up-and-coming fighter who was sent to prison over a decade ago, and has remained undefeated ever since.

Undisputed

Monroe and the Iceman couldn’t be any more different if they tried to be. Iceman has a huge ego. He’s the best in the world and he knows it. He also doesn’t care that he’s brand new to prison life, he comes in and makes waves almost immediately. Monroe is very quiet, enjoys being by himself, and seems to want to distance himself from his past. He may fight in the ring, but causes almost no trouble out of it.

Being a fan of action movies, I thought this sounded like an entertaining enough premise. Though I think the urban legend it is based on is likely bullshit, the idea of it still sounds fun. This is the kind of stuff movie fans dream of. The toughest professional fighter versus the toughest guy in the prison yard screams classic action flick. Two tough, vastly different, but deadly guys going at it one-on-on is the stuff action movie junkies dream of. I was primed and ready to like this movie.

Undisputed

The only problem is that I didn’t. The action wasn’t great, but it was passable. But what really took me out of the movie was the acting. There were several people whose performances I simply didn’t buy into. Wesley Snipes tried to be this quiet, wise, reformed kind of inmate. He did what he did accepts it and simply wants to move on from it. He just came off like he was doing an impression of some wise old convict who has learned from his past and is trying to make the best his life though. It didn’t seem authentic. Peter Faulk was laughable too, as the mafia guy and organizer of the prison fight league. Jon Seda was pretty bad as his sidekick too. He seemed like he was doped up half the time. There was a lot of cartoonish background characters too, played by hip-hop personalities such as Master P and Ed Lover. Not the good, funny, entertaining kind of cartoonish characters either. Oh, and Fisher Stevens, how could I forget about him. Who thought it was a good idea to have him play a white boy who thinks he’s one of the homes? His performance looked like it belonged in this movie. The only one I liked as Ving Rhames. He was one mean dude and the only one of the cast who was remotely believable.

Rating: Thumbs down.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on October 7, 2013.

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