Ali (2001) 4/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 68.3
Genre: Drama, Biography
Duration: 157 mins
Director: Michael Mann
Stars: Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, Jon Voight

It seemed like a big departure from most of his traditional work but Michael Mann delivers the goods with this partial biopic of the great fighter. Focusing more on the personal events in Ali’s life from the time he broke onto the scene to the end of his relationship with Malcolm X, Mann successfully brings his slick visual style to the film and crafts a compelling drama. The fight sequences are few but also very memorable thanks to Mann’s trademark use of short zooms and alternating focus throughout – this is seen particularly in that key first fight with Sonny Liston. The acting on all fronts is tremendous with Will Smith doing surprisingly well in both his imitation of the pugilist and his more dramatic acting. Overall, Ali is a triumph which Mann fans and Ali fans alike should respond positively to.

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