Published May 07, 2009After claiming not to have raped Desiree Washington, but stating that he did "take it too far" with other women, Mike Tyson shares a little rape fantasy about dominating a particularly strong, corporate, "CEO-type" of woman, with a look on his face that Soda Popinski would certainly not approve of. It's a little discomforting, and only exacerbated when he verbalizes his capability for murder.
Perhaps this judgment is a little too harsh, as the documentary, which is little more than first-person interviews with Tyson and boxing footage, details his propensity for exaggeration, intimidation and mistrust. As such, who knows how many of the champion boxer's statements and claims are embellishment, or even what his agenda was when being interviewed for the doc.
For the most part, it appears to be a life story, with Tyson detailing a childhood of abuse and mockery, being a fat kid and having a family that cared very little for him. His developmental experience of hate and mistreatment caused an implicit distrust and automated oppositional stance with people, which was only worsened by a life in the limelight surrounded by starfuckers and sycophants that could give less of a shit about anything other than his wallet and status.
This constant negative influence inevitably led to an ideological stance of inherent human vulgarity, and the belief that others are cold and incapable of empathy. This, unfortunately, is a circular pattern, as a stance of distrust and defensiveness will only invite similar behaviour from others. This leads to substance abuse problems and religious enlightenment, given his inability to generate meaning from standard human connections.
While this all makes for compelling viewing, the documentary is flimsy for a feature, suffering from Toback's pretentious editing and repetition, which he uses to mask the fact that he's a piss-poor writer and director. This annoyance aside, anyone curious to learn more about a damaged and complicated man will get exactly what they are looking for. (Mongrel Media)