Ritchie's scam movie, based on a Leonard Wise novel, is about a backwoods community famous as the 'rural capital of cash fighting'. The town is named after a fallen hero called Charles Macum Diggs, who was set up so nastily by the town's current boss, Gillon (Dern), that Diggs now sits in a wheelchair. So what better than to con the con-man? Enter Caine (supercool Woods), just out of jail, and his sidekick Fitz (the brilliant Platt), who aim to take Gillon to the cleaners by setting up a huge bet that Caine's ageing protégé, 'Honey' Roy Palmer (Gossett) can beat ten consecutive opponents in 24 hours. Of course, there's more to it than this: old-fashioned racism, Mafia involvement, killings, copious side-bets, and all the chicanery that goes on when big bucks are at stake. Though the blood flows copiously, the film is mainly a mass of punchy one-liners, sight gags, sporting and heroic fantasies, and champion performances. Naturally the film bears no relation to the physical laws of bodily damage, but in the end, who cares?
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