Retreading the familiar ground of an ex-con trying to walk the straight and narrow, the story of Shadow (Bokeem Woodbine) and Sharon (Deborah Cox) is part romantic drama, part Van Damme flick. Before the plot reaches it’s predictable conclusion, the first three-quarters of the Blood of a Champion are pretty enjoyable, as the two leads keeps things moving with solid performances that exceed the low-budget feel of the sets and the supporting cast. Thanks to Shadow being one of the gulliest characters I’ve seen in a movie for a while, there are a number of highlights worth mentioning.
Shadow’s Top 5 Gully moments:
1. Choking his wife in bed the first night home after a ten-year bid, thanks to a prison flashback of putting some herb in a yoke (this kind of reminded me of the part in American Me when he tries to “gang rape” his girlfriend during a love-making session).
2. During a “Fight Club” match vs. some huge broad, our hero knocks her out, catches her limp body as she falls to the ground and plants a peck on her cheek! What a helluva guy.
3. Suffocating a dude with a plastic bag while holding the rest of his crew at gunpoint.
4. Knocking his sparring partner out cold during a routine work-out, and getting offered to be trained for free almost before the guy hits the canvas.
5. Forcing a British hooker to shoot him in the head while holding a razor to her throat.
Other good things about this movie:
1. It doesn’t feature any rappers in speaking parts.
2. The only “hip-hop” connection in this flick is that The RZA composed the score, on the smoothed-out ’80’s tip, no less.
3. All the white characters are hilariously stereotypical, from the “squares” at wifey’s job to the guinea gangsters.
As you can see, there are no shortage of gully moments in this flick, and while it’s no Raging Bull, it sure beats your average “hood story” snoozefest., and is worth checking out. Hopfully they’ll be a sequel showing all the dude’s Shadow beat-up during his ten year bid.
Review copy supplied couresy of ThinkTank Marketing.
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