Taking a Few Hits
Against the Ropes
Review by Ross Anthony

Meg Ryan is a tough Detroit blonde who knows the boxing industry inside out and Tony Shalhoub is a heartless, cutthroat boxing lord. That's some daring casting. How about Marissa Tomei and Gandolfini? In addition to trying to get used to these new personas on old familiar faces, the first fifteen minutes of the film might make you wish you were watching another picture altogether. But then Omar Epps steps in, giving the production the punch you didn't see coming. Omar, sporting a great physique and aggressive acting chops, opens up the ring bringing heart and drama to an intro that hadn't much more to offer than big names. From there, the rest of the actors seem to feed off the new energy which generates some new faith for this underdog of a movie.

The fight toward the climax is strong, engaging and, in there someplace, this is a beautiful film. Just as concerned with internal growth as boxing titles, "Against the Ropes" finds fighting room for character. But, the momentum takes a surprise fall, someplace at the start of the third act from which it nearly fails to recover. Still, overall, a sweetness permeates.

Also deserving of mention, director Charles S. Dutton, delivers a Roc solid performance as Felix the boxing trainer.

This is movie fiction based on a real person. In reality, Jackie Kallen began her career in journalism during the mid-sixties. Later, after marrying and having two children, she expanded her work into radio and television. By the end of the next decade, she had become a respected sportswriter, after which she opened her own public relations firm, representing a wide variety of professional athletes. In the late eighties, Kallen decided to manager her own boxers.

  • Against the Ropes. Copyright © 2003. Rated PG13.
  • Starring Meg Ryan, Omar Epps, Tony Shalhoub, Tim Daly, Charles S. Dutton.
  • Directed by Charles S. Dutton.
  • Screenplay by Cheryl Edwards.
  • Produced by Robert W. Cort David Madden at Paramount.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:04 PDT