Set in Mariposa, California, this debut film has a fit-looking Jimmy Smits as Latino patriarch, Arturo Ortega, an ex-boxer whose brilliant career was cut short by a crooked manager. Determined to protect his sons from a similar fate, Ortega coaches the three boys in the noble art himself. Hard work and determination bear fruit as sons Jimmy (Collins) and Sonny (Seda) do well, but it's younger brother, Johnny (Hernández), who catches the eye of professional promoter, Nick Everson (Perlman). A combination of pride, vanity and sheer bloody mindedness, however, see Ortega turn down Everson's offer, and pretty soon his single-mindedness starts to look more like bullying. The story follows a standard 'struggling path to fame and fortune' route, in the Rocky mould, with the inter-familial relationships offering limited and fairly two-dimensional side interest but the climactic bout delivers.
Cast and crew
Jimmy Smits Jon Seda Clifton Collins Jr Ernesto Hernández María Del Mar Sal López Louis Mandylor Danielle Camastra Ron Perlman