All the Rocky films, Raging Bull, The Fighter, Southpaw, Creed, Million Dollar Baby, Ali, Cinderella Man, The Hurricane, Snatch, When We Were Kings, and we could also add Fight Club and Warrior. Yeah, there's a few! Where does Bleed For This rank? Miles Tellers' method performance as Vinny Palienza is no rookie effort, but it is hard to stamp one's authority on an over-saturated cinematic sub-genre. Worth a watch.
Ben Younger (Boiler Room) has made the most generic of boxing films with this adaptation of the story of Vinny Pazienza who defied the odds in returning to the ring after a horrific neck injury. Miles Teller puts his soul into the part but the rest of the cast only hit the most basic of marks. Everything here seems like pale imitation of better boxing films that have come before. A disappointment.
Spent about the first half of the film hoping this wouldn't be as cluttered and messy as Hands of Stone, and when it came time for the film to focus on the long recovery battle Vinny Pazienza had to endure, I found myself invested. However, this is largely due to the strengths of Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart, especially Eckhart in this particular role as he, like in Sully, transcends the supporting character role.
This had all of the ingredients to be something special, but the end result just feels like treading water. This is the same boxing film that we've seen a thousand times before and with such an interesting story that is really a shame. Bleed for This takes a fascinating true story and turns it into a by the numbers boxing flick that unlike the main character just plays it safe the whole run time.