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"FIGHTING"
(2009) (Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A street hustler becomes the unlikely manager for a young man who turns out to be adept as an amateur street fighter.
PLOT:
Shawn MacArthur (CHANNING TATUM) is a young man who's trying to make ends meet by selling any number of items on the streets of New York. He's drawn the attention of street hustler Harvey Boarden (TERRENCE HOWARD) who, with the help of his right-hand man, Z (PETER TAMBAKIS), and a few others, gets an idea after watching Shawn fight off some would-be thieves.

Having a past connection to underground street fighter organizer Jack (ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH) and his businessman associate, Martinez (LUIS GUZMAN), Harvey promises Shawn he can earn $5,000 if he wins an amateur fight. Although out-matched in his first bout, Shawn manages to win, all while becoming smitten with club waitress and single mom Zulay Valez (ZULAY HENAO).

Yet, with his reputation growing, Shawn must contend with increased demand for him and his fighting prowess, all of which seems to be leading him toward an eventual bout with professional fighter Evan Hailey (BRIAN WHITE) who has a contentious past connection with the upstart amateur.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The street fighting aspect might draw in some teen viewers, while those who are fans of anyone in the cast might similarly be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense fight sequences, a sex scene and brief strong language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHANNING TATUM plays a young man trying to make a living by selling goods on the streets of New York City. He ends up being Harvey's underground street fighter and competes for ever-increasing bout purses, but refuses to throw any fights, even if that would mean more money. He uses some profanity and falls for Zulay with whom he has sex.
  • TERRENCE HOWARD plays a street hustler who sees Shawn as a potential money maker for him and thus arranges for Shawn to compete in underground but lucrative street fights with others. Having been in that position himself, he's wary but still takes risks, especially in terms of high stakes bets.
  • ZULAY HENAO plays a single mom and waitress at a club who puts up with Shawn hanging around until she eventually falls for and sleeps with him.
  • PETER TAMBAKIS plays one of Harvey's assistants who helps in his various money making endeavors. He uses profanity.
  • LUIS GUZMAN plays a local businessman who's in cahoots with Jack in terms of the street fights. He uses some profanity and threatens Harvey's life should his bet with him fall through.
  • ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH plays the slick but demeaning organizer of the street fights who looks down on Harvey and Shawn, but sees the latter as a means of making money.
  • BRIAN WHITE plays a professional fighter who knows Shawn from their days wrestling on the team coached by Shawn's father. Now conceited and aggressive, he instantly clashes with Shawn and eventually fights him.
  • 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:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 17 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered, as are some crude remarks. An unmarried couple starts to fool around and off-screen sex is implied, a classic painting shows partial female nudity, and some hookers are briefly seen, while some cleavage is present as are views of shirtless men.

    Several scenes feature brutal street fighting (where anything goes), while a person is shot in the ear during one of those. Some of that fighting has bloody results, and it's possible those scenes could be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers. Others might be enticed to imitate that fighting or other behavior, while various bad attitudes are present. Drinking is present, and a few drug-related comments are made, while smoking occurs in various scenes. Some tense family material is also present.

    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 bright flashes of light on the screen, there are flashing lights in a club.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • After a mentally ill woman complains about new building construction, Harvey states that people used to sell drugs in the old place.
  • Z complains that a place they've entered "smells like vodka and ass."
  • People have drinks in a club.
  • About finding Shawn asleep on a park bench, Harvey jokes that he looks like a "crack-head."
  • After a fight, Shawn and Harvey's men go to a club for drinks, with Shawn telling Harvey to join them, but Harvey declines.
  • There's a comment about a "drunk ass."
  • Miscellaneous people drink before the next fight.
  • Jack has a drink at a fight.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Z complains that a place they've entered "smells like vodka and ass."
  • Shawn has a little bit of blood on his face following his first fight.
  • Some rich guys are demeaning/condescending to Shawn, with one saying, "I wipe my ass with one-hundred 100s" (referring to money).
  • Shawn has various bruises following a fight.
  • Evan and Shawn have various bloody cuts and scrapes during/following a fight.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some young thieves steal a man's briefcase and run off.
  • Shawn tries to sell what's apparently counterfeit merchandise on the street, but some thieves try to steal that. As Shawn fights them off, Z takes his money and runs off.
  • About Z, Harvey tells Shawn, "He's a little retarded sometimes."
  • Some rich guys are demeaning/condescending to Shawn, with one saying, "I wipe my ass with one-hundred 100s" (referring to money).
  • Evan mockingly asks Shawn how his father is, with Shawn replying, "I'm sure he's fine" (suggesting he hasn't seen him in a while).
  • Evan has a bad attitude toward both Shawn and Harvey, telling the latter to go wash his car.
  • Harvey tells Shawn he must throw the next fight for their payday, but Shawn refuses, saying he only wants to win.
  • About seeing that Shawn hides his money in his sock, Evan (who's black) mocks him, saying that Shawn's father used to call such behavior "niggerish."
  • Jack has a bad attitude toward Harvey.
  • Harvey takes bets that Shawn will lose in his next fight, and he wants his fighter to throw the bout.
  • Martinez warns Harvey that if the latter loses his money (in placing bets for Shawn's next fight), he'll kill him.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Martinez warns Harvey that if the latter loses his money (in placing bets for Shawn's next fight), he'll kill him. When that seems to have occurred, Martinez tells Harvey he's a dead man (but that doesn't occur).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Used to shoot someone in the ear (non-fatal) and threaten others. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Move your sh*t, man," "Holy sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "The loser gets sh*t," "The real sh*t of this thing," "Good sh*t, man," "He's a little retarded sometimes," "Wise ass," "Nuts" (testicles), "It smells like vodka and ass in here," "Losers," "Idiot," "I wipe my ass with one-hundred 100s," "You look like a crack-head," "What the hell is wrong with you?" "Oh, hell no," "Pick his ass up," "Niggerish," "Bitch-ass," "Rich ass," "Drunk ass" and "Fight like a bitch."
  • The fighting (including for money) might be enticing for kids to imitate, as might the viewing and betting on such activity.
  • Some young thieves steal a man's briefcase and run off.
  • We see miscellaneous people with tattoos.
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • We see miscellaneous women showing bare midriffs.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A handgun is suddenly fired.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but some songs had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing something objectionable.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 17 "s" words, 12 asses (1 used with "hole"), 3 damns, 2 hells, and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "Swear to God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Shawn shirtless.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage in a club.
  • We see a miscellaneous shirtless guy.
  • Zulay shows some cleavage.
  • We see some classily dressed hookers in a fancy brothel, and one comes on to one of Harvey's men, but the others inform him that "she" is really a guy.
  • A classic painting shows a nude woman reclining faced away from the camera, and we see partial views of the bare butt and side of the bare breast.
  • Zulay shows some cleavage.
  • We briefly see old footage of Evan and another shirtless fighter battling in a professional bout.
  • Shawn and Zulay start making out, with his hand going up the back of her shirt, with her half-trying to stop him, and his hand then goes for the button on her pants. We then see him on top of her (both still clothed), but the scene ends there, although sex is implied. We see them after the fact (she's dressed, he's shirtless).
  • We see Shawn shirtless while training.
  • Shawn and Evan are shirtless for their fight.
  • SMOKING
  • A number of miscellaneous characters smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Evan mockingly asks Shawn how his father is, with Shawn replying, "I'm sure he's fine" (suggesting he hasn't seen him in a while).
  • Zulay looks up an online newspaper story about Shawn from his past, with the story stating Shawn was kicked off his father's wrestling team for fighting with his father. Shawn later describes what happened in that his dad tried to break up a fight between Shawn and Evan, but Shawn accidentally hit his dad and then couldn't stop.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Street fighting as an organized, money-making "sport."
  • People forced to do whatever necessary to make enough money to get by in life.
  • Being a single mom.
  • Shawn having a past falling out with his dad.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Shawn tries to sell what's apparently counterfeit merchandise on the street, but some thieves try to steal that. He then struggles and fights with them, bashing one back into a street stand, and punching both men.
  • Shawn participates in his first fight, and his opponent easily gets the upper hand, punching him to the floor several times, while also delivering hard body blows. Shawn then drives that other man backwards until he smashes his head against a drinking fountain, accidentally knocking him out.
  • In his second fight, Shawn punches, kicks and pummels his much larger opponent. He then gets over-confident, allowing the other guy to grab and pummel him, followed by getting him in a chokehold. One of Harvey's guys then hits that big guy to allow Shawn to escape, and the fight continues into a nearby store where stuff is knocked over. A woman then fires a gun at them, striking one of Harvey's men in the ear (non-fatally). Harvey then grabs the gun to allow them to get into their car and speed away.
  • Shawn has his third fight with a martial arts fighter who easily delivers various blows to him. Shawn then drives him backwards into a pillar, picks him up, and smashes him down to the floor. But that man then kicks Shawn back, followed by them exchanging various blows, including the other man kneeing Shawn in the face. He then gets Shawn in a leg-lock, but Shawn lifts him up still wrapped around him and slams him down to the floor again. He then puts him in a sleeper hold until the man loses consciousness.
  • Evan and Shawn briefly go at each other outside a club and have to be separated.
  • We briefly see old footage of Evan and another shirtless fighter battling in a professional bout.
  • Shawn shoves Harvey backwards.
  • Shawn fights Evan in his next bout, with both delivering various hard blows, although Evan initially gets the better of Shawn. That includes throwing Shawn through a table, bashing him to a wall, and punching, flipping and tackling him. The fighting and struggling then makes it way into a building construction area where stuff is knocked over. That's followed by Shawn smashing Evan into a glass panel wall, with other blows until Evan ends up unconscious (both men are bloody from this fight).



  • Reviewed April 20, 2009 / Posted April 24, 2009

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