Fighting Beats Expectations
Rises above its own clichés
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 24, 2009 11:39 AM CDT

(Newser) Fighting, the story of a Southerner who battles through New York’s underground fight scene, isn’t exactly full of surprises—but it works anyway, critics say.

  • AO Scott was “unexpectedly delighted” by the film, which swims “through seas of cliché” but emerges “sparkling and fresh,” he writes in the New York Times. “Its ambitions are modest, and it doesn’t pursue them with excessive zeal, which may be why, improbably, it feels like a winner.”

  • The “vivid” experience “makes otherwise predictable plot movements come as more of a surprise than they should, and it separates the movie from the factory-made widgets of the genre," writes Michael Ordoña in the Los Angeles Times.
  • Adam Markovitz of Entertainment Weekly is less impressed but notes that lead Channing Tatum “shows an offhand ease on camera that would've come in handy if he were playing an actual character instead of a life-size Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot.”