Movie Review: Bleed for This

The movie “Bleed for This” is about the boxer Vinnie Pazienza who has probably the most amazing comeback story in the history of boxing and perhaps in all of sports history. After going through a difficult boxing career with highs and lows and then turning things around to win the lightweight boxing championship, Vinnie broke his neck in a head-on car crash. Despite everybody telling him he should get his spine fused so he could walk again and everybody telling him his boxing career was over, he defied all the odds and returned to boxing again, winning another championship at a much higher weight class against Roberto Duran. From the beginning of Pazienza’s boxing career, you had to wonder why he was even allowed to be a boxer because he just did not have a nose for the sport and his nose was broken in just about all of his fights. How any person can continue to fight considering the pain of a broken nose that is being hit over and over again during a fight and the obvious problems this would cause with breathing is an amazing feat in itself. Pazienza was a very tough fighter who paid a huge amount of dues to be a boxer and lived in his parents home during most of his boxing career. From his surroundings where he lived and trained in Rhode Island, it seems he did not make that nearly enough money during his career considering the dues he paid and his fame within the sport of boxing. Pazienza also had a severe gambling problem during his career, that caused him many financial problems along with so many other boxers who followed the same path.

The part of Pazienza is played very convincingly by Miles Teller who is a great up and coming actor whose breakout role was in Whiplash where he played an abused drummer in a high school band. Overall, I thought this movie was well made and the acting was good. You have to admire the athletic trek that Miles Teller had to go through to get into boxing shape for this movie, proving that acting is not always the imagined easy path of just memorizing your lines and hitting your marks. The actor Aaron Eckart does an effective job of playing Vinnie’s trainer, Kevin Rooney, who was the same trainer who trained Mike Tyson.

This movie is an above average and well-made boxing story and I do recommend it.

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