JIM reviews = “FIGHTING” -- Combating both opponents and Stereotypes!

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Rating: 7 of 10 stars (Per an advance preview:)

CHANNING TATUM (also impressive in the film ‘Stop-Loss’ & in this director’s previous film ‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints’) stars as someone who’d been a wrestling celebrity at a college in Alabama who has a hard time making a living in New York City. He chances to meet a street hustler named Harvey (finely played by TERRENCE HOWARD), who urges him to use his FIGHTING skills to make them all money at some ‘private’, NO-HOLDS-BARRED gatherings. Harvey, his assistants & other characters (including Channing’s love interest ZULAY HENAO, opponent hustler LUIS GUZMAN, etc.) are often ‘OFF-KILTER’ from the stereotypes you’re expecting. You anticipate crookedness from Howard & odd actions from Tatum, & you’re often SURPRISED by what you get (which I found refreshing). It was a fascinating little film— until the very end when things just sort of ended in an INCOMPLETE way, as if they’re hoping to do a SEQUEL to cover some major elements which were left “HANGING” in a strange & periodically unsatisfying fashion.

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