Kevin Mears’s review published on Letterboxd :
Prior to watching this I had a conversation where we talked about how my letterbox ratings for films are all over the place, and then m’colleague shared his method with me; I liked it. Here it is. Every film starts with 2.5 stars, and its can either go up or down from there. Take stars off for things, put them back on…. So I reckon I’ll give that a try.
It might even make writing more about films easier. Let’s try it for this.
First 40 minutes of sketching out the characters and establishing the backstories. So far, pretty perfunctory, though Nick Nolte is great at a certain agonised self-pity. Lost half a star for it all taking so long, and not making it’s mind up whether this is family drama with some UFC or some UFC with feels.
Here it is, strangely conforting in a sport film -the montage. This one is pretty bad. Also, wouldn’t moving to a smaller house be easier? And I think Jennifer Morrison could do more than she’s being asked here.
Eventually we get to the actual fight scenes, where the fillers are dispatched as expected. The fight scene from Rocky IV turned up, Joel Egerton realised that he really liked that house. ‘Get outta there’ probably isn’t the most technical advice from a trainer, but seems to crop up a lot.
Reading this back it seems like I’m a bit down on this. The actors who had actual characters to play did a decent job and made the whole thing ok. Fight scenes were ok considering that whether you’re a MMA or Boxing fan or not, there’s more to those sports than the biggest, punchiest one wins - which is hard to capture. I think I’ll award an extra half star for Kevin Dunn; cheesy as hell character, but carried off with some aplomb.