Resurrecting the Champ

A sports journalist (Josh Hartnett, aka Mr. Charisma) looking for a story finds a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) who claims to be a former boxer long thought dead. He pens the story, which winds up on the cover of a magazine, propelling the journalist to fame—then things start to go badly. Jackson employs a Mike Tyson-like voice for his character that starts to grate after about 10 seconds, and Hartnett, well, just isn’t good. The guy is hardly ever good. Really, how does this guy keep getting jobs? He was good in Black Hawk Down. That’s about it. As for this film, director Rod Lurie allows things to get sloppy after a decent start. While the whole thing is supposedly based on a real story, it feels fake in the end. Alan Alda—you know, the dude from M*A*S*H—plays a grumpy editor. Teri Hatcher makes an awful cameo as a Showtime-channel mogul. And another thing: I absolutely hate Hartnett’s hair in this movie. Fire the stylist.

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