Ken's Review: Resurrecting the Champ - I'm About 70%
by Ken Evans
August 24, 2007
Sometimes a story can stand on its own and it doesn't matter who is telling it. However, this is rarely the case, as many stories are only as good as the storyteller. It is the storyteller's job to present a story in an appealing and exciting way to their audience. They must form their tale to really portray the energy of an extremely tense and exciting part while also being able to portray the utter sadness and disappointment of another part. No matter how great the story might be, without the help of the storyteller's ability to do this, we might not fully understand the purpose and intention behind each scene and character. In movies the storyteller is called the director. Unfortunately for us in Resurrecting The Champ, director Rod Lurie falls short.
Based very loosely on a true story, Resurrecting The Champ is about Erik Kernan Jr. (Josh Hartnett) who is a mediocre sports writer who feels unappreciated and is looking for his big break. Along comes The Champ (Samuel L. Jackson) who is a down and out boxer living on the streets of Denver. Kernan stumbles upon The Champ living in an alley and sees his shot into the big time. After talking The Champ into letting him write his story, they quickly become friends. Kernan publishes the story and gets more then he bargained for in return.
Basically that's the plot of the entire film. Sure there are some touching moments involving Kernan and his desire to be a dad his kid will look up to. There are times we see Kernan struggling with living in the shadow of his dad, who was a famous sports radio announcer. But for the most part, we see Kernan as kind of a jerk. He lies to his kid, goes behind his bosses back, practices unprofessional journalism, and makes a huge mistake without owning up to it. I understand that Kernan got screwed over and lied to big time, and that that wasn't his fault. But, if he had practiced better investigative journalism in the first place, he would never have found himself in such a dilemma. When it came down to it, I just didn't care what happened to him.
Now we get to The Champ. Although I ended up not caring for him in the end, he was a great character. Samuel L. Jackson, you get my applause for making this character your own. His portrayal of The Champ really made this movie what it was. Talking to people afterwards, we all commented on how much we loved him. There is not enough I can say about him except a well acted, heartfelt performance, which won't be forgotten.
Overall, the problem with this film is that they story was interesting but not very enjoyable. I didn't really hate any part, but I also didn't really love any part. It never hit me where I wanted to be hit. Never went where I wanted it to go. The parts that I wanted to cheer never got very exciting, and the parts where I should have been crying just never got that sad. It's kind of like when a friend is telling a story but he puts the parts in the wrong sequence and then has to start again. By the time he restarts the story, he has already wrecked it. It just can't be as good as if he had told it right the first time. Director Rod Lurie started with a pretty good story, but just didn't tell it right.
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