Unbeatable ★★★½

An assemblage of fight-movie tropes from The Champ through On the Waterfront and Rocky all the way to Million Dollar Baby. Nick Cheung plays an ex-champ down on his luck who flees his debts to Macau where he takes up a job coaching an aspiring MMA fighter. He gets a room with a barely-sane young mother and her precociously adorable daughter (the mom is distraught over the death of her son). At its best, the film almost becomes Rocky as told from Mickey's perspective, and there's an interesting slight twist where the fighters fight not to prove something to themselves (Karate Kid-style) but rather as a means of proving to other people that anything is possible, that standing up to adversity is a thing. But beyond that it's exactly kind of melodrama you expect it to be, enlivened by fine performances and director Dante Lam's glossy Hong Kong visual style.

Nick Cheung received a number of Best Actor award nominations and wins for his performance, well deserved. But his abs surely deserved some Supporting Actor consideration, or at least Visual Effects.

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