Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ciarán Hinds, Ted Levine, Amanda Clayton, Tom DeNucci
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Story: Bio-sports drama written and directed by Ben Younger and executive produced by Martin Scorsese based on based on the life of former world champion boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller).
The boxer, born Vincenzo Pazienza and known as the “Pazmanian Devil,” became world champion in multiple weight classes, but after winning the Jr. Middleweight World title he was in a serious accident that left him with a broken neck. He was told he would never walk again, let alone fight. However, he defied medical science and common sense as he kept working out to return to the ring and made one of sports most incredible comebacks to win another championship belt.
Verdict: Despite the impressive cast this is pretty much just another average come back boxing movie. The story is definitely a worthy one with Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart giving some great performances, but the way it’s presented really doesn’t make it standout from any other movie of this type that we’ve come across. In short this is a good human story with engaging lead performances told in a conventional way.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 12)
Weigh In Official: We are going to start the weigh-in.
[the phone rings at Vinny’s place]
Lou Duva: If Pazienza is not here by seven, he will be disqualified.
Vinny: Shit. Ash. Ash, answer the phone.
Lou Duva: Tell Vinny they’re going ahead
Ashley: They’re going ahead.
Vinny: Just hold them off, tell them I’m coming!
Ashley: He’s coming.
Lou Duva: Where’s he at?
[we see Vinny desperately working out on his exercise bike being cellophane rapped]
Ashley: Where’s he at? He’s on the fucking bicycle.
Lou Duva: No, tell me his weight. What fucking weight’s he at?
Ashley: Where you at, Vinny?
Vinny: I’m coming!
Ashley: He’s coming.
Boxer: Motherfucker, tomorrow night you gone.
Vinny: Yeah? I’m gonna rain on you like a thunderstorm.
Boxer: You scary.
Vinny: Yeah. Do me a favor. Tomorrow you get yourself a tic tac.
Boxer: If you’re this close to me tomorrow, I’m gonna knock you the fuck out.
Vinny: Lou, for fuck’s sake, say something.
Lou Duva: You got heart, kid, but you wear it on your fucking chin. I seriously think you oughta consider hanging it up.
Vinny: I’m not done yet, alright. I got more in me.
Lou Duva: That’s not the problem. You always got more.
Vinny: I’m beggin’ you here, Lou. Give me another shot. Just one more.
Vinny: Kev, look, I get it. You need this win as much as I do.
Kevin Rooney: You’re damn right I need this win. But this isn’t about me, it’s about you. You’re all in, all the time. Scares the shit out of me.
Vinny: What you want me to do? Only be half in? A quarter in? You want me to smoke a cigarette between rounds?
Kevin Rooney: I want you to understand the difference between a risk and gamble.
Vinny: Yeah, risk, gamble, whatever.
Kevin Rooney: No, not whatever. This, what we do here, this is calculate, okay? We weigh the odds, we make a choice. This ain’t Blackjack, Vinny. It ain’t orange juice and tit jobs and sunglasses. This is it. This is fucking it!
Vinny: Do you think I’m going to lose this fight?
Kevin Rooney: No.
Vinny: Good. Me neither.
Kevin Rooney: This isn’t the game plan, alright? Why you going toe-to-toe with this guy? Hey, Vinny, look at me. You don’t move, you’re gonna get hurt. Alright? You’re gonna get hurt. Don’t let the fillies get the better of you. You don’t have to slug with this guy, alright?
[Vinny just stares at him]
Kevin Rooney: What? What is it?
Vinny: He doesn’t hit like a girl at all.
Kevin Rooney: Jesus Christ.
Vinny: He actually hits pretty hard. Vinny, move your head. Alright? Come on!
Angelo: Vinny, kick his fucking ass!
Radio News Reporter: Good evening. Rhode Island’s own Pazmanian Devil is in Kent county memorial hospital tonight with a fractured neck.
Dr. Cotter: How you feeling, Vinny?
Dr. Cotter: Listen. I want to talk to you one more time about your options before we proceed tomorrow.
Vinny: No need.
Dr. Cotter: Well, if I install the halo, there’s no guarantee that it will work. The halo relies solely on your body healing on its own.
Vinny: Well, that’s good, because I heal fast.
Dr. Cotter: Not that fast. It’ll be six months till you’re really out of danger. Until then, one bump, one fall, any kind of movement and your spinal cord could sever. Any doctor in the world would be telling you that spinal fusion is really the preferred procedure with this severe of an injury.
Vinny: You already told me all this. You and my mom would get along great.
Dr. Cotter: If you let me do the fusion, I can guarantee you’ll be able to walk again.
Vinny: That’s not enough for me. I need to be able to fight again.
Dr. Cotter: I need you to understand the risk.
Vinny: I understand.
Dr. Cotter: I don’t think you do.
Vinny: You’re not fusing my neck.
Kevin Rooney: We’re not done here, Vinny.
Vinny: We’re not?
Kevin Rooney: No. We just need to, you know, figure out what’s next for you. There’s a whole world outside the ring.
Vinny: You know, Kev, I’m getting pretty sick of people talking about me like I’m dead, like I died in that car wreck, like it’s just over for me. Kev, I’m gonna fight again.
Kevin Rooney: No, you ain’t, Vinny. That’s what everybody here knows. They’re afraid to say it to your face. You’re not gonna fight again. It’s over. You gotta let it go.
[as Vinny tries to lift some weight]
Kevin Rooney: Vinny, no. No!
Kevin Rooney: What are you doing? This is insane. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Have you seen that thing on your head? Come on, you heard what the doctor said, you’re risking your life here.
Vinny: What life? Upstairs?
Kevin Rooney: No, I can’t do it. This is a fucking hail Mary at best.
Vinny: No, it’s, it’s not. It’s a gamble. Yeah, I know that. But look, if there was a time to roll the dice this is it.
Kevin Rooney: You just don’t know how to give up.
Vinny: No, I do. Trust me, I do. I know exactly how to give up. You know what scares the shit out of me, Kev? Is that it’s easy.
Kevin Rooney: If something goes wrong and I’m involved, I couldn’t live with that.
[referring to his head brace]
Vinny: Just take ’em out.
Dr. Cotter: You ready?
Vinny: Yeah, let’s do it.
[the doctor tries to loosen the screws on the head brace]
Vinny: Holy shit, doc! You’re going the wrong way!
Dr. Cotter: I’m not, Vinny. Listen.
Vinny: Are you sure? Feels like you screwed it in deeper.
Dr. Cotter: What do you say we give you a sedative?
Vinny: No, I’m good. Come on. I’m good.
[the doctor tries to unscrew the braces again]
Vinny: Oh, shit, doc! It’s lefty loosey! Do you know what you’re doing?
Dr. Cotter: Yes, I know. Thank you. It’s the calcification around the threads breaking free. It’s like a rusty bolt with Loctite on it.
Vinny: Alright. Alright, let’s go.
Dr. Cotter: Okay. Breathe.
[he starts loosening the screws]
Dr. Cotter: Okay, there we go. There we go.
Angelo: I can’t be in your corner for this one. Or any of them. I can’t be part of you getting hurt no more.
Vinny: Why are you doing this right now?
Angelo: I should’ve done it a long time ago.
Kevin Rooney: Vinny, we started this in a basement. In a fucking basement!
[Vinny remembers how he was trying to train in his basement, then he remembers the accident]
Kevin Rooney: Now go out there and show me how you do things. Show me how you live. Show me how you fight.
Vinny: Show you how I fight?
Kevin Rooney: Yeah, show me who the fuck you are.
Total Quotes: 12