[Screen It]


(2002) (Wesley Snipes, Ving Rhames) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Minor None Extreme Mild Mild
Moderate Minor None Heavy Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Mild Minor Heavy Heavy

Drama: An inmate finds his undisputed boxing title in jeopardy when the world heavyweight champion is incarcerated in the same maximum security prison with him.
Monroe Hutchen (WESLEY SNIPES) is the undisputed champion of Sweetwater Prison and the California State Prison boxing program through which he has no problem defeating his various opponents. That status is put in jeopardy, however, when George "Iceman" Chambers (VING RHAMES), the heavyweight champion of the world, is incarcerated there after being convicted of raping Tawnee Rawlins (ROSE ROLLINS).

While admitting he's no saint, the egotistical Chambers vehemently denies the charges and conviction, but nevertheless faces six to eight years in Sweetwater. Bunked with inmate Mingo Pace (WES STUDI) and knowing that everyone there will be gunning for him, he immediately sets out to prove he's the top dog and that includes putting Hutchen in his place.

Fearing outside repercussions, Warden Lipscom (DENIS ARNDT) and counselor Darlene Early (AMY AQUINO) then decide to separate the two by placing Hutchen in solitary confinement. That doesn't sit well with frail but still feisty mob figure and boxing aficionado Mendy Ripstein (PETER FALK) who, through right-hand man Jesus "Chuy" Campos (JON SEDA), lets it be known that he wants a match between the two champions to be arranged.

Lipscom isn't pleased with the idea, but folds under pressure from Ripstein's outside influences and thus allows head guard A.J. Mercker (MICHAEL ROOKER), Hutchen's corner man Ratbag Dolan (FISHER STEVENS) and Chambers' manager Yank Lewis (DAYTON CALLIE) to set up the unofficial match. As the weeks pass and the two champions prepare for the bout that will be fought under the fight-to-the-finish London Prize Ring rules with lightweight gloves and no referee or rounds, everyone in the prison, including unofficial fight announcer Marvin Bonds (ED LOVER), prepares for the clash of champions.

If they're fans of someone in the cast or movies about boxing and/or prison life, they might, but this one doesn't seem overly attractive to most kids, especially younger ones.
For strong language.
  • WESLEY SNIPES plays a solitary convict in prison for murder who's the current and undefeated boxing champion in the joint.
  • VING RHAMES plays the heavyweight champion of the boxing world who's sent to prison for a rape he claims was consensual sex. Egotistical and mean, he sets out to prove that he won't back down to any prisoner and thus fights with many of them. He also uses strong profanity.
  • PETER FALK plays an older and frail mobster figure who's behind bars for tax evasion. With his powerful outside connections, he threatens the warden to allow him to setup a boxing match between Hutchen and Chambers. He uses a great deal of strong profanity.
  • MICHAEL ROOKER plays the head prison guard and official referee of the boxing matches inside the prison.
  • JON SEDA plays a prisoner who's been assigned by the mob to protect Ripstein and make sure he has everything he needs in prison.
  • WES STUDI plays a prisoner in for carjacking and vehicular manslaughter who's also Chambers' cellmate.
  • FISHER STEVENS plays Hutchen's unofficial manager who's in prison for arson and homicide. He uses strong profanity.
  • DAYTON CALLIE plays Chambers' manager who's not happy that the fighter is in prison or about to participate in an unorthodox fight.
  • DENIS ARNDT plays the prison's warden who folds under Ripstein's bribes and threats.
  • ED LOVER plays a con artist who's serving time for larceny and serves as the announcer of the prison boxing matches. He uses strong profanity.
  • ROSE ROLLINS plays the woman who claims that Chambers raped her.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 50 "f" words, along with many other expletives and colorful phrases being used (by the characters and in some songs). Sexually related dialogue is present, with most of it regarding talk of whether a rape or consensual sex occurred between two people.

    A flashback shows a man walking in and finding his woman (wife or girlfriend) with another man (we briefly see her bare breasts), an effeminate male prisoner is offered to another prison as a gift but is refused, and some brief male rear nudity (and one man with a towel barely covering his crotch) occurs in a prison shower.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (some of them extreme), while violence consists of fights both in and out of the ring where punishing punches are thrown and delivered, as well as prison guards firing shotguns into the ceiling and struggling with some inmates during a near-riot. Beyond that, some miscellaneous characters also smoke.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs when photographers are taking many flash photos, while some of the jumpy and moving camera work might affect those prone to visually-induced motion sickness.

  • A character is noted as being in prison for drug trafficking.
  • A prisoner offers to steal some Valium and get Chambers to ingest it before the fight, but Hutchen warns him not to do that.
  • None.
  • Most of the characters in the film are prisoners of one sort of another who've committed (or at least been found guilty of) various serious crimes. Inside that community, Chambers has a bad attitude toward most of the other prisoners who, in turn, have bad attitudes toward him.
  • Various prisoners bribe and/or threaten prison officials who let them get away with it (for fear of reprisals from outside forces). That includes Ripstein who arranges for both fighters to benefit and/or profit from the fight.
  • Mercker calls Mingo, an American Indian, "Chief."
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" could also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Shotguns: Grabbed by prison guards as a near riot starts to form and then fired into various ceiling lights by them.
  • Phrases: "F*cking bureaucratic assholes," "F*ck it," "Big, bad, black m*therf*cker," "F*ck the fans," "Get the f*ck out of here," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "F*ck you up," "You're full of sh*t," "Sh*t no," "(Let's cut through all this) Bullsh*t," "I ain't giving that bitch sh*t," "Don't give me no sh*t," "I don't believe this sh*t," "Give a sh*t," "Chickensh*t," "Didn't do sh*t," "Sh*thead," "How in the hell?" "Sucker," "Get his ass whipped," "Damn sure," "Punk ass," "Who the hell are you?" "He can kick your ass," "My ass," "Chump," "Bitch" (for a man), "Black ass," "Ho'" (whore), "Kiss your ass," "Get your ass up here," "That's a bunch of crap," "Cocky son of a bitch," "Scumbags" and "Kick his ass."
  • It's possible the film could inspire kids to fight and/or to imitate the behavior and actions of the two main boxers.
  • We see various tattoos on various prisoners' bodies (including one who has swastikas on his arms), while a few have gold caps on their teeth.
  • Mercker calls Mingo, an American Indian, "Chief."
  • Chambers suddenly lunges at his cell bars during a TV interview.
  • None.
  • Various rap songs had lyrics that could not be understood, but we did hear the following in some of them: At least 4 "f" words (3 used with "mother"), 3 "s" words, 1 hell, 1 ass (used with "hole") and the term "niggers."
  • At least 50 "f" words (12 used with "mother"), 43 "s" words, 1 slang term each using male and female genitals ("d*ck" and "p*ssy"), 23 asses (4 used with "hole"), 7 hells, 4 damns, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 7 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Christ" and "Jesus Christ."
  • We see part of an interview with Tawnee where she says (about the rape) that she didn't want to (have sex) and that she told him "no." We then see Chambers saying just look at him and then asks why he'd have to rape someone (implying he could have free sex whenever he wanted).
  • We see the top of a man's bare butt in a prison shower.
  • A woman meets with Chambers and discusses the night of the alleged rape. He states that he's no "punk ass rapist" and that she "wanted it." He then adds that she didn't say "no" and didn't have a problem with any of it. When the woman claims that the victim feared that he could physically harm her, Chambers responds by saying, "Yeah, that's why she was making all of them happy sounds cuz I was killing her." He then states that some women like it rough and then asks the woman, "Do you know anything about that?" The women then states it could have been explained away easily enough that he mistook her cries for help or that she was in pain. He replies that he's heard pain before and "Believe me, she wasn't in no pain." We then see a brief bit of an interview with Tawnee where she says when he was done, he put his pants back on and went out to a party. Later, we hear her say she thought he would stop.
  • An effeminate looking and acting man approaches Chambers and states that he's a gift from a prison gang to him (but Chambers refuses him).
  • Chambers mentions "p*ssy" as one of many things famous people can get.
  • We see a flashback of Hutchen entering a room and finding his woman (it's not clear if it's his wife or girlfriend) with another man and we briefly see her bare breasts (implying sex or fooling around).
  • We briefly see a man holding a towel that barely covers his crotch in the prison shower and then see most of Chambers' bare butt as he walks away.
  • Several miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • We hear that Chambers is divorced.
  • It's implied that Hutchen found his wife in bed with another man (and then killed that man), but it may have been his girlfriend.
  • What constitutes rape.
  • People trying to take advantage of famous people.
  • Prisoners and life in prison.
  • Boxing.
  • A character is noted as being a skinhead and has swastikas on his arms.
  • Depending on one's view of boxing as sport or violence, there are various matches in the film (as well as some flashbacks to other real and fictitious bouts) where a great deal of harsh blows are delivered to the body and heads of various boxers.
  • Chambers slaps/smacks Hutchen on the face and then there's a brief shove, but the two are quickly separated.
  • Chambers throws a rock at Ratbag to get his attention (it hits a nearby metal sign). He then confronts the much smaller man and finally goads him into punching him in the face. Ratbag then does that, but moments later Chambers hits Ratbag very hard in the chest, causing the smaller man to gasp for air (but we later see that he's okay).
  • We see a flashback of Chambers punching another man in the face and then see another view of it.
  • Chambers violently overturns a table.
  • Chambers strikes a gang leader across the face and then punches him. He then punches various men in that man's gang who try to hit him.
  • We see a flashback of Hutchen entering a room and finding his woman (it's not clear if it's his wife or girlfriend) with another man and we briefly see some struggling between the two men. We then hear that Hutchen beat the man to death with his bare fists.
  • Various guards push various prisons with riot shields while trying to stem a riot and we see some of them firing shotgun blasts up into the ceiling lights as warnings and to activate the sprinkler system. We then see Mercker beating one prisoner with a night stick (we don't explicitly see the impact).
  • The final boxing match has a great deal of boxing violence with many brutal and punishing blows delivered to the contestants' heads and bodies.

  • Reviewed August 19, 2002 / Posted August 23, 2002

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