The Challenger full movie review - The Challenger is Surprise
It's an Indy film, with a very limited budget and a very limited time. And yet, it shows very little of that in the movie. The cast and crew made a film that's fun, engaging and ultimately well worth the time.
The cinematography was excellent. The sound and music great. The fight choreography was solid, exciting and believable. The acting was almost uniformly top notch.
The way it was filmed, the choices made, like the laundry mat guy watching TV somehow enhanced the movie in subtle and engaging ways.
It's not a perfect movie. The believability for the main story line was thin and the film suffers from some missing pieces. But ultimately, I didn't care and it didn't bother me.
I would have liked to see the main character getting kicked out of schools for fighting...it would have established his character and helped to build up some plausibility for later when we had to buy into the idea that he was a natural fighter who progressed so rapidly, that he got to the light heavy weight championship in less than an year.
I think the story suffered from too much ambition, but the editing and the choices made helped keep this a solid film with a lot of entertainment value.
The mother was amazing. She needed a bigger piece of the movie. There are pieces of the movie that you at first go, "hunh?" but are explained later. It should have been more satisfying when the revelations came in, but that, I think, was a victim of the budget and time. Remember, this is an Indy film. It's done on an extremely limited budget.
So, the bottom line for me was that I expected to seem more "warts" in the film. Instead, I saw a well crafted, well edited, well filmed movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I highly recommend it as it being of better quality than most of what's been in the theaters this year.
disclaimer: I'm related to someone who worked on the film, so I'm probably not completely objective here. I'm also not a movie critic. If I enjoy a movie, I give it high marks. In this movie's case, I gave it a 9 because I walked out very happy I'd seen it. At no point in the movie did I fail to stay engaged in it. I took 1 off for the issues I mentioned above. They were too minor in my eyes.