Resurrecting the Champ Rod Lurie

Resurrecting the Champ Rod Lurie
It’s such fun watching Hollywood try to lecture you on ethics — the more they huff and puff about what’s right and what’s good, the more you notice that they can’t live up to their own pontificating. Thus Resurrecting the Champ wastes no time in self-destructing on the same hypocrisy that kills every other film of its type. Josh Hartnett stars as a gutless sports reporter who’s been phoning in his pieces since the start of his career. He’s handed a career-making slam-dunk when he chances to meet derelict Samuel L. Jackson, who claims to be fallen boxing legend Bob Satterfield; the human-interest bonanza gives him a shot in the arm and nails a lucrative job with a cable giant. Then it comes out that his subject may, in fact, not be Bob Satterfield at all. What leads up to this is boring "sensitive drama” hokum straight out of 1936. What it builds too is a series of speeches (by Hartnett’s wife Kathryn Morris, by straight-shooting editor Alan Alda, by various other disinterested parties) that suggest his culpability even as the script contrives to undercut them with a harmonious conclusion. Director Rod Lurie is so juiced up by the thrill of self-righteousness that he fails completely to connect the dots; his desire to testify is matched by his desire to entertain, and neither seem to be connected by an interest in real human behaviour or genuine moral inquiry. You’d have to be very sheltered indeed to take this seriously, either as a straight movie or as a statement on anything human. Extras include a hilarious, hyped-up commentary by Lurie, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it "making of” featurette and some cast/crew interviews. (Alliance Atlantis)