Movie Reviews

Published on November 18th, 2016 | by Josh Aja


Bleed for This

Bleed for This is the true story of boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller). Vinny is the type of person that in and out of the ring goes all out to the point he can go no further. This mindset puts him on the verge of being out of boxing after losing three straight fights, which he drastically cuts weight to fight. As he searches for one last chance, he is paired with a new trainer, Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart), who is also seemingly given his last chance to revive his career. Rooney sets out to change the way Vinny trains and convinces him that fighting at a heavier weight will help his body, he previously was taking drastic measures to cut weight for fights. The pair are committed to success even with Vinny’s head strong father’s (Angelo Pazienza played by Ciarán Hinds) disapproving of the change, his mother (Louise Pazienza played by Katey Sagal) not wanting Vinny to get hurt, and his own Manager (Lou Duva played by Ted Levine) saying he should quit boxing all together. After some convincing and a lot of hard work Vinny gets his chance at one last fight. But he is moving up two weight classes and is put into a title fight against a seasoned opponent. Vinny shocks seemingly everyone by overcoming these obstacles and knocking out his favored opponent to become a World Champion.

After the biggest win of his career when everything appears to be going Vinny, his families and Rooney’s way, there is a terrible car accident and Vinny suffers a broken neck. The doctor tells him that he may never walk again, let alone box. With everyone telling him that his boxing career is over, Vinny is single-mindedly determined to do everything he can to get back into the ring. He opts to not have surgery in hopes that his neck can heal on its own and he can return to champion ship form. He has to convince Rooney to train him, find someone willing to fight him, and has to overcome his once over bearing father being unwilling be in his corner for the first time in his life. Even with a mountain of obstacles in his way, he begins his quest to get back into the ring and show everyone that he can do the impossible and regain his past form.

Writer and Director Ben Younger (Prime and Boiler Room) does an excellent job with this inspirational true story. The supporting cast provide solid performances, especial Eckhart and Hinds, but Miles Teller’s performance is what really makes this a fun film to watch. He really seemed to fit into this role really well. His performance was both compelling and fun. There were several times that the film showed actual old footage and footage just made to look old and you really couldn’t tell if it was Teller or the real Vinny Pazienza on the screen. I liked how the boxing sequences were not over dramatized, no mouth pieces flying across the ring, it looked like there was an effort to just keep them as true to the actual fights as possible. I also enjoyed the moments of comedy. For a story full of drama there was a good amount of well-timed comedy, mostly provided by Teller. Visually they did a good job of making the film feel like you were in late 80s and early 90s. There were a couple of slow scenes but overall the film flowed really well.

Overall this was a well done boxing genre movie. Good story, great acting performances and solid directing.


4.5 out of 5

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