Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katy Sagal, Ciarán Hinds, Ted Levine.
Boxing movies tend to run to a formula, a pretty predictable formula, a contender with a lot of ambition beats the odds or finds himself trying. But when the story is a true one, when the odds are so insanely insurmountable, you can not help to be intrigued by the proposition. Bleed For This most definitely falls into that category. Telling the true story of Vinny Pazienza, a world champion boxer who suffers a broken neck after a horrific car crash and Is told he will never box again, Vinny is determined he will.
There are some great performances in this film, Miles Teller is awesome, bulking up sufficiently to pass for a boxer of Pazienza’s stature and coming across very convincing in the boxing sequences. Comeback of the year for me has to go to Aaron Eckhart, two great character roles in a row at the moment, this and the also great Sully, playing Paz’s trainer Kevin Rooney. Eckhart put on a considerable amount of weight to play the alcoholic Rooney and totally immerses himself in the part. Great support turns also from the likes of Katy Segal, Ciarán Hinds and Ted Levine.
Bleed For This could so easily have fallen into the cliched tropes of the boxing film and stayed there but it was the performances of Teller & Eckhart that raised this film above that delivering instead a film with genuine heart and doing justice to an incredible true story.