DVD - 2002
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Dramatization of the life of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali.
Publisher: Culver City, CA : Columbia TriStar Home Video, c2002
ISBN: 9780767869775
Branch Call Number: ALI
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (157 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4in


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May 07, 2014

Few people are worthier of a biopic than Muhammed Ali, but the challenge is in depicting such an iconic figure. Director Michael Mann's film is ambitious, sometimes great, too long and a bit flawed. It kicks off strongly with the Ali-Liston fight and ends with the fabled Rumble in the Jungle (if you haven't seen the excellent doc "When We Were Kings," you should). In between we get boxing, of course, but also his family life, his friendship with Malcolm X (played by Mario Van Peebles), his conversion to Islam and his brave refusal to be drafted. His life is fascinating, but the film doesn't always find the right tone or approach. Will Smith, in one of his only real acting jobs, does a decent job, but doesn't really look like Ali or like a boxer. The supporting cast is really good and includes Jeffery Wright, Mrs. Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Gus from "Breaking Bad" and Jon Voight, who is uncanny as Howard Cosell. Despite its imperfections, it's worth watching.

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