31 August 2016 | ccorral419
Get into the ring with this elevated boxing film
Caracas, Venezuela, born Director/Writer/Producer Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro express - 2005), along with producing wife Claudine (Epicentral Studios) leap from the Latin film arena to tell the true story of the raise/fall and raise again of showy Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, portrayed by the outstanding Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty). With childhood sweetheart Felicidad (Ana de Armas - War Dogs) by his side, Duran (known as "Manos de Piedra" Hands of Stone) claims the WBC welterweight title in 1980 over state-side favorite Sugar Ray Leonard (well portrayed by the at times too pretty Usher - The Voice), only to later utter the words "No mas" (no more), walking away from a rematch. Superbly guiding Duran through his life/career is training great Ray Arcel (the always terrific Robert De Niro), money man Carlos (Ruben Blades - Safe House) and childhood funny man Chaplain (Oscar Jaenada - Cantinflas). While several side stories are briefly presented, they help Jakubowicz elevate the film from just a boxing movie. Music by Angelo Mili, cinematography (Miguel Loann Litton Menz), costumes (Bina Daigeler) and set decoration by Denise Camargo and Amy Williams (especially the Disco scene) bring the film to life. Reg E. Cathey (Don King) and the younger Duran (David Arosemena) have nice smaller roles, as does one of my all time favorites Ellen Barkin (Animal Kingdom) as Ray's wife. "Get into the ring" with this elevated boxing film.