By Hervé St.Louis
July 20, 2006 - 21:32
Starring: Denis Nikiforov, Andrei Panin, Yelena Panova, Dmitri Shevchenko, Alexander Kuznetsov, John Amos
Directed by: Aleksei Sidorov
Produced by: Ruben Dishdishyan
Running Time: 132 minutes
Release Date: 2005
Distributors: Central Partnership
Russian boxer Artem has the fight of his life against the American champion. The Americans wanted to buy off his loss so they could reorganize a second match confrontation. But when Artem’s manager refuses, it’s up to Artem to use his skills to defeat the American champion.
However, Artem is not fighting at his best. His retinas are damaged and he is sure to lose. But if he loses, his manager will probably have him and his girlfriend killed. Can Arterm succeed despite these dangerous odds?
Shawdowboxing premiered in North America on July 20, 2006 at the Fantasia Film Festival.
This is a blockbuster, Russian style. And it works. It’s good to see the story of a hero from the other perspective. But just so you don’t despair, there’s enough action with Russian mobsters for all those who like action flicks. Unlike other action movies, the hero is incapacitated for much of the movie. Imagine Daredevil boxing his way out of mobsters, but without his radar. Ouch.
This movie doesn’t hold any punches either and the characters are believable and smart. I’m not used to action hero boxers who quote and write poetry. But I love it. I wish there were more international blockbusters such as this one playing in regular film theatres. This film is as good an action flick as anything from Hollywood and more. As the characters are smart and the characterization strong. It’s not just a punching bag with exploding cars for two hours. It’s something more delightful.
The visuals are good. At first, I found the introductory title animation cheap, compared to the latest openings from Hollywood. But once the film starts, the camera work is fine, although the techno music gets annoying.
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