The true story of Boxing World Champion Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller) who looked death in the face after a devastating car accident. The doctors told him he’d never walk again, The Pazmanian devil did whatever it took to get back into the ring against all odds.
Everyone knows that I love a good boxing movie. Last year we had Southpaw, which didn’t get much attention at all. I loved that film. Gyllenhaal delivered one of the best performances of his career. Antoine Fuqua quietly directed a boxing fan’s ideal film. One that depicted the modern trials and tribulations of a boxers struggle accurately. Of course there was Creed as well, which was my favorite film of all last year. Michael B. Jordan carried on Stallone’s legacy brilliantly. Hopefully we get to see Creed triumph in the future. Fast forward to 2016 and we have Bleed for This. Vinny Pazienza has one of the most triumphant stories not only in sports, but ever. Miles Teller is one of the best young actors working today, will this be the performance that finally gets him recognized at the Academy Awards?
Bleed for This is one of the best films of 2016. Miles Teller delivers a career performance in this powerful, inspirational, and heart warming true story. If you didn’t believe Teller’s performance then this whole movie falls apart. He’s the heart and soul of this story, and you care for him deeply. Aaron Eckhart plays the great trainer Kevin Rooney, who worked with Iron Mike Tyson previously. That trainer, boxer relationship is critical and this one comes across very genuine. There’s a love between Paz and Rooney. They look out for each other like family, as it should be. You can see on Eckhart’s face that he too is going through a painful tragedy along with Paz. It’s truly heart warming to watch them overcome the odds.
The film is written and directed by Ben Younger, and he does a tremendous job with this material. There’s already a powerful built in narrative that anyone could get behind. However, Younger adds that smooth camerawork to some of the boxing choreography. It was stunning. You feel every punch with Paz, you win and lose with him.
The looming criticism hanging over the movie is that its hits the same beats as most other in the genre. To that I say, what? I don’t know any other boxers to come back from near paralysis to not only walk again, but to fight again. This story is so impactful. Anyone can feel Paz’s pain and triumph. That’s what makes this movie special.