One thing we sometimes forget in the world of movie blogging is that most movies land right in the middle. They are neither masterpieces or garbage. They are just good, solid enjoyable films. Such is the case with this month’s blind spot pick- The Boxer. It didn’t wow me but it was a decent watch.
The reason why I included The Boxer in my blind spot picks for 2017 is it is directed by Jim Sheridan and I absolutely loved his movie In America which I saw for the first time last year. I also love his film My Left Foot, which like The Boxer stars Daniel Day Lewis. It was kind of perfect timing because just this month Lewis announced his retirement from acting following his next film. He will definitely go down as one of the all time greats and he shows it here in The Boxer.
Going into The Boxer I was under the wrong impression that this was a traditional sports/boxing movie narrative and it’s not. It’s more of a mob movie with a small boxing element.
It stars Daniel Day Lewis as IRA member Danny Flynn who is released from prison as the film opens. He decides to open a boxing gym but gets back involved with the IRA hoodlums despite his attempts to stay on the straight and narrow. He also reconnects with an old girlfriend named Maggie (Emily Watson) who has her own ties to the IRA. The two have great chemistry and most of the movie is about their relationship. There really is only one major boxing sequence and even that is more important for the mob it inspires than for the actual boxing.
I suppose what keeps The Boxer from being great is the story is pretty pedestrian and nothing happens that is very memorable. It’s the kind of movie you watch and then have trouble remembering a few days later. Maybe part of the problem is also this type of story has been told so often that it feels pretty played out?
That said, it is well acted and directed, so worth a watch. It’s just the script that could have been a little more memorable.
Overall Grade- B- (a mild smile worthy for the performances and direction)