Boxing movies are part of the fabric of cinema, a classic genre often bringing awards for embattled and bruised heroes (Raging Bull, Rocky) and heroines (Million Dollar Baby).
Miles Teller takes off the top and steps into the ring to play Vinny Pazienza, an Italian-American welter weight from Providence who gets a shot at the title but breaks his neck in a car accident.
The film then follows this “fighter” as he wrenches his way back to, not just fitness, but another shot at the title, against none other than Roberto Duran, the Hands of Stone – himself subject of a boxing pic this year, played by Edgar Ramirz and trained by Robert de Niro.
Bleed for This has little to make it stand out from the crowd. Teller is not really believable or interesting as Vinny. We never get under the skin of the character, never feel his pain trapped inside the ‘halo” frame that is mending his body.
I didn’t like Ciaran Hinds as his Dad, Angelo, who throughout bears the look of someone smelling a toilet.
Aaron Eckhart, in his second sidekick role of the week, is pretty good as trainer Kevin Rooney, who used to train Tyson but is now scuppered by, guess what? , the demon drink.
And finally, the boxing scenes are really dull. they don’t crunch and bleed, like the title says, they don’t show why anyone would want to do it.
Even The Boxer did the wise-tawkin’ family members and blousy sisters thing much better.
You can enjoy Bleed for This as a filler, as a minor shadow in the boxing pantheon, but up against any decent entry, the fight would be stopped after a couple of rounds.