Gladiator

Film

Action and adventure

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Time Out says

Herrington follows up the state-of-the-art violence of Road House with a leaner, more controlled tale of back-street boxing in Chicago. Blackmailed by corrupt promoter Horn (Dennehy), white schoolboy boxer Tommy Riley (Marshall) is forced into a fight scene where cheating is normal. Horn bills Tommy as 'The Great White Hope', but Tommy's motivation - paying off his father's gambling debts - hardly sets him alongside 'hungry' white champions of the past. For his black opponents, on the other hand, their fists are their only passport out of the ghetto. It's this desperation, and the racial undercurrent of black versus white, that Horn is keen to exploit. Marshall makes a promising feature debut; and Herrington, pushing beyond the expected triumph-of-the-underdog clichés, underpins the crowd-pleasing Rocky-style fight action with some unobtrusive social comment and confident visual storytelling.
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Release details

UK release:

1992

Duration:

102 mins

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