Lionsgate // 2009 // 89 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // June 10th, 2012
Redemption. Betrayal. Courage. Some dreams are worth fighting for.
A young fighter named Ahmad (Ahmad Rashid Al-Sulaiti) travels to Thailand with a song in his heart and a dream to become a renowned superstar on the Muay Thai circuit. Events don't exactly unfold like a storybook, however, and Ahmad soon finds himself broke, poor, confused, and homeless. Unwilling to let go of his desire to punch dudes in their heads, he flops at a boxing camp and perfects his craft, waiting for his opportunity to climb into the ring and test his mettle. Fortunately, all that stands between him and the championship is a montage.
Apparently, Down for the Count is inspired by real events, and it appears star Ahmad Rashid Al-Sulaiti is the person whose real events were said inspiration. The guy was responsible not only for the story but the screenplay as well. To that I say: Congrats Mr. Rashid Al-Sulaiti. Your adventure must have been life-changing and memorable for you, and I am genuinely happy for your experience. But in movie form, your life plays out in pretty dreadful fashion.
The intentions are well-meant and Ahmad Rashid Al-Sulaiti -- clearly no acting prodigy -- gives it his best, but Down for the Count is destined for bargain bin oblivion. Real events or not, there's nothing you haven't seen before. Stranger in a strange land? Check. Culture shock? Check. Underdog just looking for a chance? Check. Early failures that lead to valuable character-building? Check! And a final confrontation with a boxer who clearly overmatches our hero? Hell yes! No surprises.
A lean DVD: standard definition 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround mix, no extras.
With all the boxing movies we've suffered through over the years, you can't really complain if ideas get recycled. So in lieu of pure originality, I look towards execution; tell a similar story, but tell it well. Sadly, this is another swing and a miss from Down for the Count. Painful line-readings, shoddy direction, and -- worst of all -- boring action scenes, all add up to an earnest misfire.
TKO'd like Glass Joe.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated R