Review of Bare Knuckles (2010)

8 Nov

Bare Knuckles (2010) is a straight-to-DVD sports/drama/action film.

Directed by Eric Etebari (Expulsion (2011 Short)), who is better known as an actor, as this is his feature-length directorial debut.

Written by Robert Redlin (McCinsey’s Island (1998), After Dark, My Sweet (1990)).

Starring: Jeanette Roxborough, Martin Kove, Bridgett Riley, Louis Mandylor and others.

I didn’t start watching this with high expectations, but considering my love for the Rocky franchise, there’s certainly some things I do expect from boxing movies. It’s weird to say, but I wished they would’ve copied Rocky‘s formula a bit more, the film could only benefit from that.

In this narrow sub-genre being clichĂ© is almost unavoidable, so the premise of the story isn’t all that bad. My understanding is that the film was highly influenced by Jeanette Roxborough’s actual life, being a stunt-woman and a mother of a handicapped child. That is a unique angle to add to the story, but somehow they fail to insert the intensity of the real-life drama and while it spends enough time on exploring these issues, it seems to have inserted Roxborough’s handicapped daughter as some sort of MacGuffin, just to move the story along.

As I mentioned Jeanette Roxborough is a professional stunt-woman, which shows in her acting a bit, but not too badly. On the other hand she makes up for what she lacks in acting skills by her convincing physical performance. Martin Kove is unsurprisingly the best actor in the movie and gives a solid performance. The other actors aren’t necessarily bad, but the fact that they play these cheesy caricatures really doesn’t help.

The whole “training with the bodybuilder tranny” sequence is really creepy and then it goes on in to this idiotic scene, where they discuss the other fighters in a manner that is the movie equal of a fighting video game’s character screen.

The fights themselves are pretty bad, using slow motion seemingly at random, most fights aren’t “bare-knuckle” at all, since the fighters are wearing gloves and performs various wrestling moves. Also it might be more realistic, but looks terribly uncinematic, when most fights last about 30 seconds and those are the full fights, not montages of highlights.

It is shot in HD video, which makes the fights look more like the ones we’d see on TV, but overall, combined with the movie’s cheesiness makes it seem like it’s made about a decade ago.

The script is the worst part of the whole thing. I kept thinking that it could have been easily improved by just a rewrite by someone (more) competent.

Overall, it isn’t totally awful and unwatchable, but it throws so much stupidity at you that there really isn’t anything to recommend it for.

"I'm acting... with my fists!"


One Response to “Review of Bare Knuckles (2010)”

  1. Clayton November 12, 2013 at 1:00 am #

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