Movie Review: Big George Foreman

The full title of the new movie about the incredible life of boxer George Foreman is “Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World” – which seems to be an attempt by the producers to stand out because obviously, “Big George Foreman” is the perfect title for this film.

From watching this very compelling story about the life of George Foreman, what stands out the most is the series of miracles that happened to this man that took him from extreme poverty to the Heavyweight boxing champion at a young age, to then leaving boxing after almost dying after a fight and due to financial mismanagement from a trusted friend, forced to return to boxing again when he was 40. Then amazingly, primarily due to his all-time punching power to becoming heavyweight champion again at age 45. Most unlikely and amazing about George Foreman’s life is the creation of the George Foreman grill – the most simplistic and widely used kitchen appliance of all time.

After Foreman lost to Muhammad Ali in 1974 in Africa, he became the angriest boxer in the history of the sport. The most significant aspect of the life of George Foreman is how he changed from an angry and unlikable person in the mid-70s to a funny big man who was so likable the opportunity of a lifetime, George Foreman Grill came to him – making him worth 300 million dollars today – far more money than he ever made from just boxing. Foreman’s likeability came after his loss to boxer Jimmy Young in 1977 where he found God and almost died after the fight, and then pursued a life of preaching for many years before returning to boxing for a second time.

As far as this film, there are a number of issues that are missing – including not focusing enough on the Foreman Grill, showing how angry and unlikeable he was during the 1970s and the fact that he was married 4 times before he married his 5th wife, who he has been with for 37 years. Too much time was spent on this story up to the time when Foreman was forced to go back into boxing for financial reasons, so less time was spent on all of the challenges and fights he had before he became the Heavyweight champion the second time, 20 years after he lost to Ali. Foreman came out of extreme poverty, only because of Jobs Corp, where he was sent to get job skills and there just so happened to be a boxing trainer who taught him how to box.

I thought that the acting was very well done, with Forest Whitaker as Foreman’s long-time friend and trainer and Khris Davis who plays George Foreman.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating of 53% for this good biopic is once again wrong, with my rating a solid 80% and a recommendation to see this movie.

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