2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
David Mamet has always been preoccupied with aggressive competition between men, so it’s only natural that he should make a film about fighting. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Mike Terry, a principled martial arts teacher who’s married to Sondra (Alice Braga), the daughter of a Brazilian fighting clan, and is too noble, or humble, or something, to compete. A series of bad turns involving a protégé, a jittery lawyer (Emily Mortimer), a dodgy movie star (Tim Allen) and his dodgier factotum (Joe Mantegna) raises the stakes, however, and before long that big-money contest is looking tempting…

Ejiofor (right) appears in nearly every scene and does a fine job with both the fighting and the slightly precious sermonising required of him, but Mamet has tackled these subjects – alpha-male rivalry, conjuring deception, threatened principles – before and to better effect. The plotting is  contrived, the supporting characters two-dimensional, and the ending slides from predictable to absurd to maudlin.



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 26 2008
99 mins

Cast and crew

David Mamet
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Tim Allen
Alice Braga
Emily Mortimer
Joe Mantegna
Ricky Jay
David Paymer
Rebecca Pidgeon