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"REDBELT"
(2008) (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Extreme Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A non-combative martial arts instructor must contend with various parties who want him to participate in a mixed martial arts competition.
PLOT:
Mike Terry (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) is a former military man turned self-defense instructor who runs Southside Jiu-jitsu with his wife, Sondra (ALICA BRAGA), in Los Angeles. Despite being good at what he does and having loyal students such as Snowflake (JOSE PABLO CANTILLO), who helps teach the class, and Joe Collins (MAX MARTINI), a local cop, Mike and Sondra are having a hard time keeping the business solvent.

Thus, when distraught lawyer Laura Black (EMILY MORTIMER) accidentally sideswipes Mike's truck and then, once inside and suffering from post traumatic stress disorder ends up shooting Joe's service revolver through the storefront window, things look particularly bleak.

Sondra has Mike visit her brother, Bruno Silva (RODRIGO SANTORO), a club owner and fight promoter, for a loan, but Mike isn't pleased that Bruno hasn't paid Joe who he had hired as a bouncer. He doesn't get anywhere with Bruno who wants Mike to fight professionally for him, but while at his bar he ends up saving movie action star Chet Frank (TIM ALLEN) from some thugs.

As a result, things look up when Chet has Mike and Sondra over for dinner with his wife, Zena (REBECCA PIDGEON) and producer Jerry (JOE MANTEGNA). Soon, Mike's been hired as a consultant on Chet's film, and Sondra borrows money from loan shark Richard (DAVID PAYMER) to finance her fabric business opportunity with Zena.

Things change for the worse, however, when a watch Mike gave Joe -- after receiving it from Chet as a "thank you" for saving him -- turns out to be hot. When Mike reports that to Jerry, that sets into motion a series of events that Mike couldn't have foreseen, including Jerry stealing part of Mike's training regimen and selling that to fight promoter Marty Brown (RICKY JAY).

From that point on, Mike must figure out how to react and whether he should allow himself to be manipulated into fighting in a mixed martial arts competition.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested, as might those who are into martial arts films and/or who are fans of anyone in the cast or writer/director David Mamet.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHIWETEL EJIOFOR plays a present day samurai type who teaches and lives by the principles of Jiu-jitsu. While he's good at what he does and has loyal students, his business is failing, and that puts pressure on his marriage to Sondra. Just when things seem to take a turn for the better, they quickly come crashing down, thus forcing Mike to do what he's always avoiding - competing in sanctioned mixed martial arts competitions for money. He also uses brief profanity.
  • TIM ALLEN plays a middle-aged action movie star who takes a liking to Mike after the latter saves him during a bar altercation. He uses strong profanity and drinks.
  • ALICA BRAGA plays Mike's wife who helps him run the martial arts school while also running her own fabric business. When things go south after briefly looking up, she takes that out on him, thus putting additional pressure on their already strained marriage.
  • EMILY MORTIMER plays an attorney who's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder following a previous rape. After accidentally ending up in Mike's classroom and shattering his window, she becomes a student and then turns around and tries to help him. She smokes and drinks some, and uses strong profanity.
  • MAX MARTINI plays an L.A. cop and student of Mike's who's becoming quite proficient at Jiu-jitsu, but must contend with various external factors and developments that undermine his confidence.
  • JOE MANTEGNA plays Chet's manager who's a master manipulator and eventually steals part of Mike's teaching regime. He uses strong profanity and drinks some.
  • JOSE PABLO CANTILLO plays Mike's assistant in his class. He uses some strong profanity.
  • RODRIGO SANTORO plays Mike's brother-in-law who runs a nightclub and wants to promote Mike as a fighter. An unscrupulous guy, he doesn't pay Joe for work performed for him as a bouncer. He briefly smokes.
  • RICKY JAY plays a fight promoter who uses strong profanity.
  • REBECCA PIDGEON plays Chet's wife who agrees to use Sondra's business, but then reneges on the deal.
  • DAVID PAYMER plays the loan shark who loans Sondra money for the above arrangement. He briefly drinks.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    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).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 38 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some women are briefly seen in revealing attire and some men are seen shirtless.

    Violence includes fighting (martial arts-based and other) both in and out of the ring, with some hard blows delivered, and with some bloody results, while the aftermath of a gun to the head suicide is also seen. Some of those scenes might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, while that fighting and other behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some tense family material is present, and characters drink and/or 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 prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a club where someone states, "Somebody buy me a f*cking drink."
  • Chet and others have drinks.
  • Mike, Chet and their wives have wine and/or drinks with dinner. Chet later has brandy.
  • Chet says he drinks too much and fools around. We then see him drinking on his movie set in the morning.
  • Jerry orders wine, but leaves before having any.
  • Richard has a drink.
  • There's a comment that Laura used to drink in the past.
  • Laura might have a drink before a fight and goes to get another one, but there's a line (and we see miscellaneous people drinking).
  • Jerry has a drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Mike has a slightly bloody bandage on his arm after a man sliced him with a knife.
  • We see a suicide victim with a somewhat bloody bullet hole in his head.
  • A fighter has blood on his face and chest.
  • Mike has a bloody lip after fighting with others, and then a bloody nose and more from his mouth after other fighting.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mike learns that Bruno hasn't paid Joe for his work as a bouncer at his club.
  • A man tries to pick a fight with Chet in a bar, prompting Chet to punch him, with that man returning the blow, followed by more fighting, including with other men.
  • Mike learns that the watch he gave Joe (which was a gift from Chet) was hot.
  • After Mike tells Jerry about the hot watch Chet gave him, Jerry doesn't return to dinner (leaving Mike alone at the table for a long time). Mike and Sondra then learn that Chet and his wife changed their number, and that Sondra is now out $30,000 (for product Chet's wife said she was going to purchase from Sondra who borrowed that money from a loan shark).
  • Richard is a loan shark.
  • Mike learns that Marty stole part of his teaching regime used for martial arts training/fighting.
  • Mike learns that he was set up by many people, including some close to him, to get him to fight in a mixed martial arts competition. He also learns that the fights are fixed (mainly regarding what handicap -- tied arms or blindfolded -- any given fighter must endure during their fight).
  • Mike learns his wife sold him out.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling, or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Reacting instinctively and stemming from a past trauma, Laura grabs Joe's service handgun that's sitting out after he benignly comes up behind her. The gun accidentally fires and blows out Mike's storefront window.
  • During a fight, a man slices Mike's arm with a knife.
  • A fake knife is used in a stunt fight demo on a movie set.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'm f*cking fantastic," "Somebody buy me a f*cking drink," "Whatever the f*ck I tell his people," "Where the f*ck is he?" "What the f*ck /do you care/is that to me/happened/do you think?" "F*cking calm down," "How the f*ck are you?" "You m*therf*cking son of a bitch," "Stupid m*therf*cker," "(This is) Bullsh*t," "Whore" (man), "Ass on curb," "What did you do to screw this up?" "Are you crazy?" and "You're a sick fool."
  • The martial arts fighting and such might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • We see miscellaneous tattoos.
  • A minor character, Jimmy, flips a lit cigarette around between his fingers.
  • A fake knife is used in a stunt fight demo on a movie set.
  • Mike has a bloody lip after fighting with others, and then a bloody nose and more from his mouth after other fighting.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 38 "f" words (4 used with "mother"), 3 "s" words, 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use of "Jesus Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a shirtless guy in Mike's class.
  • Sondra undresses and we see her in her panties, as well as a strapless top that shows the shape of her nipples under the material. She adjusts that, and we see the bare tops of her breasts (no nipples), while Mike is shirtless.
  • We see Mike and other shirtless fighters.
  • A fight round girl (the one who walks around holding a sign indicating the upcoming round number) wears a bikini in the ring.
  • SMOKING
  • Laura smokes at least once (and is seen with unlit cigarettes several more times, including when she's stopped from smoking in one scene), Bruno smokes at least once, and there's brief miscellaneous smoking.
  • A minor character, Jimmy, flips a lit cigarette around between his fingers.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • The fact that Mike's business is losing money puts a strain on his marriage to Sondra.
  • Joe's wife is out looking for him late at night, and there seems to be some tension there.
  • We see a suicide victim with a somewhat bloody bullet hole in his head. That's resulted in his upset wife being mad at Mike (blaming him for what's happened).
  • Mike learns his wife sold him out after she blames him for screwing up things for them.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Jiu-jitsu and other martial arts.
  • Mike's teaching principles, such as if you control yourself, you can control your opponent; that a man distracted is a man defeated; and that there's no situation in which you can't escape.
  • The fact that Mike's business is losing money puts a strain on his marriage to Sondra.
  • Mike doesn't compete in fighting because he thinks it's limiting.
  • Laura admits that she was raped at knife-point in the past.
  • We see a suicide victim with a somewhat bloody bullet hole in his head (we don't see the actual act, just the aftermath).
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's contact in Mike's class, including struggling and punching, one student being slammed back against a wall, a punch to the gut, and more such contact.
  • While driving at night and desperately looking for a pharmacy, Laura accidentally sideswipes Mike's parked car.
  • Reacting instinctively and stemming from a past trauma, Laura grabs Joe's service handgun that's sitting out after he benignly comes up behind her. The gun accidentally fires and blows out Mike's storefront window.
  • A man tries to pick a fight with Chet in a bar, prompting Chet to punch him, with that man returning the blow. There's also a punch to the gut and a bottle is broken to be used as a weapon, but Mike stops that. Another man then hits Mike who kicks him back. One man then slices Mike's arm with a knife, followed by Mike taking him out, rendering that man unconscious.
  • We see a suicide victim with a somewhat bloody bullet hole in his head (we don't see the actual act, just the aftermath).
  • We see fighting in a mixed martial arts contest, with punching, kicking, kneeing and struggling.
  • Laura slaps Mike when he walks out from a fight.
  • To get to someone at a fight, Mike beats up various guards who try to stop him. One hits him, while he knocks out one and breaks a wrist. During this, Snowflake is hit on the head, while Mike takes on the champion backstage. Various brutal blows are delivered, with the champion then getting Mike in a chokehold that nearly renders him unconscious. He manages to break free, with the other guy ending up unconscious.



  • Reviewed March 13, 2008 / Posted May 9, 2008

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