PG-13 for some violence and brief language.
Drama, Adaptation and Sports
August 24, 2007 (wide)
Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Hartnett, Teri Hatcher, Alan Alda, Kathryn Morris
Yari Film Group
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Resurrecting the Champ
- Resurrecting the Champ, inspired by a true story, is a small, but powerful gem about integrity, honesty, and family relationships, especially relationships between fathers and sons.
Josh Hartnett plays a Denver sports journalist named Erik Kernan, who’s trying to come out from the shadow of his famous father who was a beloved boxing announcer. Abandoned by his father at a young age, Erik is trying to be a good father to his son, Teddy, even though he is separated from his wife, Joyce, who works at the same newspaper. Erik has a tendency to exaggerate his career when he’s with his son, however. For instance, he claims to have golfed with Muhammed Ali but he only covered a celebrity golf tournament. The problem is, Erik’s boss at the paper thinks Erik’s writing needs improving and won’t let Erik cover any other big sport except boxing.
Then, Erik stumbles upon a black homeless man, played by Samuel L. Jackson, who claims to be “Battling Bob” Satterfield, a boxer from the 1950s who just missed becoming heavyweight champion. Everybody thought Satterfield was dead, but after a little research, Erik starts interviewing Bob for a potential magazine story that could change Erik’s journalistic career. However, Erik is mad at his boss, so he neglects to tell his boss that he’s writing the story for the paper’s magazine section. The chance to publish a big story improves Erik’s relationship with his son and his wife, but there’s a fly in the printer’s ink that may unravel everything Erik is working for.
Resurrecting the Champ is a powerfully written, directed, and acted story about honesty, integrity, and the relationship between fathers and sons. It impressively covers these issues in a deep, incisive way that never gets in the way of the story but enhances it. Ultimately uplifting, the movie also has a very strong moral worldview. Resurrecting the Champ is unique compared to other movies about the issues it covers because it shows that not only do sons need love and approval from their fathers but fathers also need love and approval from their sons.
Samuel L. Jackson gives an Oscar-caliber performance as the title character. The rest of the cast also does an excellent job. This is by far Director Rod Lurie’s best work, whose other movies have had some major problems. The movie does contain some foul language and boxing violence, but the language and violence is not as strong as some other boxing movies, such as Movieguide® Award-winner Cinderella Man. Still, this is not a movie for young children, and Movieguide® advises caution for children age 10-13.
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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.
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